Chinese coconuts from Hainan did not sell well last year. This year, however, the price increased a lot. The retail price of green coconuts in Sanya City is currently around 8-10 yuan [1.18-1.47 USD]. In other cities the price is as high as 15-20 yuan [2.21-2.95 USD]. According to traders the cause is a shortage of supplies.
The first harvest of green coconuts usually leaves the market around Mid-Autumn Festival [1 October, 2020] and the second harvest only enters the market after Spring Festival [12 February, 2021]. The period in between is a quiet season in the coconut market. This year the green coconut production areas in Hainan suffered from drought in the first half of the year, which caused a decline in the overall production volume of green coconuts. In addition, the outbreak of Covid-19 led to higher cost prices for transportation. That is why the price began to rise. Growing demand in the period leading up to Mid-Autumn Festival further pushed the price up. The sales volume on e-commerce platforms helped this trend. According to specialists, the coconut price is only expected to rise in the coming weeks.
Growing market demand is one reason for the shortage of green coconuts, but scarce supply is also a seasonal feature of the coconut market. Every year in the period between August and October, the autumn harvest of green coconuts runs out before the spring harvest arrives. That is why the price goes up. Although Hainan produces coconuts in all four seasons, the overall surface area is not that large and the production volume is not big enough to satisfy market demand. Furthermore, green coconuts were trending on broadcasting platforms like Douyin in the first half of this year, which further stimulated green coconut sales. Finally, green coconut sales during the summer have severely depleted the green coconut reserves, and imports from Southeast Asia have become more difficult because of the Covid-19 pandemic. That is why the Chinese coconut market struggles with a shortage.
In general, the product quality of green coconuts is best between February and June. The meat is not too old and not too soft either. The flavor is just right, and the coconut water is sweet. Market demand is strong during this period and the price is stable. The current price rise is expected to last until November. Then the weather turns cold and consumer demand drops. When the fresh coconuts enter the market next year and the production volume grows, then the purchase price, the wholesale price, and the retail price will all come down.