Winter is the season for mandarins but this year the season started earlier than in previous years. Mandarins have already entered the Chinese market in large volumes. Shatang tangerines, Aiyuan tangerines, and honey mandarins usually enter the market as early as late November, but this year they are already available throughout the country. The harvest and sales season of early-season varieties is already underway, but farmers are not as eager as in previous years.
The purchase price of early-season varieties is not as good as last year. Last year the purchase price of honey mandarins was around 1 yuan [0.15 USD] per 0.5 kg, but this year the average price has more than halved. The purchase price has already dropped below 0.4 yuan [0.06 USD] per 0.5 kg. This trend is visible in all major production areas in Guangxi, Jiangxi, and Hubei. The sales volume is not great either. There is a lot of pressure on the sales of mandarins.
Specialists say that usually around this time of year about 2/3 of the production volume is already sold, but this year only 1/2 of that's already sold. The current price of mandarins has shown a steady decline down to 0.4 yuan [0.06 USD] per 0.5 kg, and farmers have no choice but to search for buyers to take the remaining stock off their hands. The sales season has only just begun, and seeing the mandarin market in such difficulty does not put the farmers at ease. The early-season mandarin market is bleak.
The outbreak of Covid-19 also had its impact on the export market of mandarins. Overseas economies are shaken by the consequences of this pandemic. That is why the domestic market remains the focus of Chinese mandarin traders, at least for now. The export volume is extremely limited. There is virtually no chance that overseas buyers will suddenly purchase large volumes of mandarins. This puts enormous pressure on Chinese mandarin farmers and traders. The supply volume is huge and the flavor is not ideal, which leads to situations where some of the mandarins have become unmarketable.
According to specialists, mid- to late-season varieties are in trouble too. This may be the bleakest year for mandarin sales in a long time.
Source: Hebei Crown Pear Production and Supply