Chinese chestnuts have entered their harvest season. The production volume has continuously declined in the last three years, but this year the farmers have finally enjoyed an abundant harvest.
The Chinese chestnuts in the Yan mountain range across north Hebei are particularly bountiful. The production volume greatly increased in comparison with last year. Furthermore, the current weather conditions are excellent. Manager Yue, spokesperson for Qinhuangdao Yan Mountain Chinese Chestnuts Co., Ltd., recently talked about the current conditions in the Chinese chestnut market.
"In Hebei, the harvest season of fresh chestnuts usually begins in late August. The harvest season lasts around 30 days. Processing factories, wholesale traders, and roasted snack shops all purchase their Chinese chestnuts in September. The Chinese chestnuts are categorized based on product quality, and then the fresh chestnuts are stored in warehouses where the chestnuts build up sugars.
"The chestnuts have to remain in the warehouse for at least 20 days for the sugars to build up. This process is usually finished by late September and the first nuts enter the market around National Day [October 1].
"The processing of frozen chestnuts normally begins in late October. This gives them plenty of time to accumulate sugars and develop their optimum flavor. Fresh chestnuts can remain in storage for about one year, when properly treated, but when the chestnuts germinate (in April), the sugar content declines, the flavor deteriorates and the ratio of spoiled chestnuts starts to grow, which means an increase in financial loss. That is why the processing of frozen chestnuts generally concludes by March."
"The production volume was not bad this season, but the harvest has not yet completely finished, so we are still waiting for the final figures," said manager Yue. "The purchase price of Chinese chestnuts in Hebei production areas is currently around 5.5 yuan [0.81 USD] per 0.5 kg. That price is relatively low compared to previous years. The market price has also gone down in comparison with previous years."
The main export markets for Chinese chestnuts are East Asia and Southeast Asia. "Our export volume to these markets was unaffected. Only the domestic market showed a slight impact. However, the market quickly recovered after June, and both the supply volume and the price are stable."
The overall surface area devoted to Chinese chestnut plantation in Beijing, Hebei, and Shandong expands by 5% every year. In the end, market competition is fierce in the Chinese chestnut industry. This also means that Chinese chestnut producers have to continuously meet higher requirements.
"In order to stand out in this competitive market, we strictly monitor product quality during every stage of the production process, from plantation and purchasing to storage, processing, and sales. Only in this way can we guarantee the highest product quality for our clients. Monitoring product quality in storage facilities is particularly important for Chinese chestnuts. We use specialized cold storage facilities with automated ventilation and climate control equipment. That is how we make sure that the Chinese chestnuts build up sugars, which in turn affects their flavor, fragrance, and sweetness. We received great feedback for our production and management philosophy from the Japanese AEON Group. This gives us a competitive edge in the Chinese chestnut export market."
For more information:
Yue - Manager
Qinhuangdao Yan Mountain Chinese Chestnuts Co., Ltd.
Tel.: +86 18233599980