China sees falling prices for local fruits and rising prices of imports

At present, prices of locally grown fruits in wholesale markets are generally lower than in the same period of last year, while prices of some imported fruits are slightly higher. The average retail price of common fruits is steady and slightly lower compared with last month, and there is room in the future for prices to fall further.

The fruit consumption level this year is not optimistic and the overall market is low. Although there is an abundance of fruits on the market, not many are able to get good prices. In the first half of the year, transportation was difficult, leading to overstocking. In the second half of the year, consumption improved, but a majority consumers buy rationally and prices still have not risen.

Analysts say that there are three main reasons for the decline in prices of locally grown fruit. First of all, the planted area of ​​some varieties has increased. For example, in the past two years, the planted area of ​​specialized pomelo varieties such as red pomelo, yellow pomelo and grapefruit has expanded, and the production and market share has also increased, leading to an increasingly smaller pricing gap with common pomelos.

Secondly, the storage life of some varieties was shortened due to weather. Weather conditions during the pomegranate harvest period this year were not optimal with excessive rainfall. As the peel drenched by the rain was prone to rot, the storage life became shorter and products could only be marketed at low prices in order to be cleared as fast as possible. Moreover, due to the impact of Covid-19, market consumption hasn’t been able to rise.

Unlike locally grown fruits, most of the imported varieties, cherries, for example, have seen slightly higher prices. In the same period last year, the price of 5 kilos of early cherries was around 700 yuan per box, while the starting price this year was above 1,000 yuan. At present, cherries on the market are all early varieties transported by air from Chile to port cities and then distributed to inland provinces on demand. Consumption is mainly concentrated in cities like Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou. Due to rising international shipping costs, the import volume is also lower than in previous years.

Cherries are not suitable for long-term storage. Larger, fresher cherries are naturally more expensive. Cherries marketed in China are mainly from the United States, Chile, Australia, and New Zealand. As they are mostly transported by air in the cold chain, their storage and transportation costs are relatively high, so the prices and profits are higher than common fruits.

Source: Shanghai Fruit Industry Association

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