The Chinese market price of Chilean cherries significantly dropped when large volumes of Chilean cherries arrived by sea freight. The current price is already considered low. There are several reasons for this development. First, the production volumes in Chilean cherry orchards were larger than in previous years. Second, the Covid-19 pandemic reduced consumption levels. Chinese consumers do not show the same enthusiasm for Chilean cherries as in previous years. Third, several years ago when the supply volume of Chilean cherries was limited, only fruit enthusiasts were curious enough to taste this new arrival on the Chinese market. Now the Chilean cherry is common enough. Chinese consumers have a greater understanding of imported fruits, whether in terms of cherry varieties or flavor. Demand is much greater now than it was several years ago. Furthermore, as the pandemic continues to spread, some consumers worry about the safety of refrigerated food products. This also affects the general consumption of Chilean cherries in China.
"The Chinese market price of Chilean cherries is already reaching a low point. Supply speed is picking up, especially in the end-markets. Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has not yet triggered large-scale lockdowns in this part of the world, only small-scale lockdown measures. So when the cherries arrive here, they enter a national distribution network that is uninterrupted. We expect the distribution of Chilean cherries to continue without a problem, as long as there are no unforeseen circumstances. Although the price is relatively low at the moment, we may see a price rise in the period leading up to Chinese Spring Festival [12 February, 2021]." This is according to Huang Xianhua, CEO of Shanghai Oheng Import & Export Co., Ltd.
Looking back on 2020, the import fruit market suffered most in the first half of the year. The two main reasons were interruptions in distribution networks and labor shortage due to isolation measures. Both reasons are due to the sudden outbreak of Covid-19. Some of the worst-hit victims in the fruit market are tangerines and grapes. One of the reasons imported tangerines sold poorly is because the import volume was too large. Another reason was the lockdown of restaurants and cafes, which greatly reduced market demand for tangerines and other citrus products such as Summer oranges. The problems in the import grape market were related to product variety and product quality. Some of the older grape varieties have lost the interest of Chinese consumers, such as red globe grapes. Production areas need to consider improving product varieties to better meet market demand.
According to Mr. Huang, "we do not expect similar conditions in the first half of this year, but we are still careful when we purchase import fruit. We also have to consider the fact that the product quality of domestic fruit continuously improves. As Chinese consumers shift their attention to domestic products, importers have to purchase higher quality fruits and fruits that complement the Chinese market. That is the only way to guarantee profit in the import fruit market."
For more information:
Mr. Huang Xianhua - CEO
Shanghai Oheng Import & Export Co., Ltd.