The apple production volumes last year significantly declined because of extreme weather conditions. The average product quality was less than ideal. However, there are a small number of apples whose production is not yet elevated to an industrial scale, and while the market conditions grow weaker, these small-scale apple varieties maintain a strong market position. Manager Li Ying, spokesperson for Qingyang City Qing New Fruit Industry Co., Ltd., recently talked about current conditions in the Chinese apple market.
Market demand exceeds supply volume for small-scale apple varieties
This will be the first year that Qing New Fruit Industry sells red apples online. "The main production areas for red apples are Aksu in Xinjiang and Tianshui in Gansu. These apples are unique because not only is their peel red, but so is the fruit flesh. We saw our sales volume on the T-Mall e-commerce platform suddenly expand in the period leading up to Christmas. We sold more than 4,000 boxes in several days.
"Our apples became the most-sold small-scale apple variety on T-Mall. Although we supply quickly, we only have a small number of returning customers. That is because the flavor of our apples is relatively sour. Customers who do not like sour flavors generally do not return. Our production volume is small, so the price is higher than the price of regular apples. The purchase price in Tianshui is around 8 yuan [1.24 USD] per 0.5 kg and the retail price of a gift box of premium apples on T-Mall is 80 yuan [12.38] per box of 12 apples."
In addition to apples with red fruit flesh, Qing New Fruit Industry also promotes the sales of Ruixue and Ruiyang, two new apple varieties. "The purchase price of Ruixue and Ruiyang apples is around 5-6 yuan [0.77-0.93 USD] per 0.5 kg, and the online retail conditions are not bad either. These two apple varieties were developed by Northwestern Agricultural Science University. These apple varieties are extremely well suited to the conditions in Shaanxi and Gansu in China's northwest," explained manager Li.
The Ruixue apple is a hybrid derived from the Qingfu No. 1 and Pink Lady. This is a late-season yellow apple with a sweet and sour flavor and a unique fragrance. "Many apple orchards in Gansu are currently experimenting with the plantation of these two apple varieties, but the requirements are quite high, so the Ruixue and Ruiyang apples are not yet produced on an industrial scale."
General conditions in Chinese apple market are growing weaker
Apple production areas in Shaanxi and Gansu suffered from extreme weather conditions last year and the average product quality of apples declined. "Some apple orchards in Shaanxi experienced more than 10 days of continuous rain in the last weeks of August. These conditions had a severe impact on the product quality of Gala apples. The red Fuji apples from Qingyang that entered the market in early October suffered from frostbite. And in some orchards the production volume declined by 70%. Furthermore, many apples in Gansu suffered from black spots and only a small percentage of the production volume was suitable for retail," said manager Li.
"The general market conditions are not great because the outbreak of Covid-19 reduced consumption power. Furthermore, there is a market tendency towards collective purchases that has grown much stronger since the second half of last year. Competition is intense and that puts even more pressure on the price. The market conditions for many major apple varieties significantly declined. Their prices are quite low. Take the red Fuji apple for example. Traders with storage space purchased the apples in Qingyang for 3 yuan [0.46 USD] per 0.5 kg, but the market price is now only around 3 yuan [0.46 USD] per 0.5 kg, which leaves the traders with barely a profit margin. Some even suffer financial loss."
Qingyang City Qing New Fruit Industry has cold storage facilities with a capacity of 20,000 tons. The company also owns a fully automated selection line. The company mainly sells apples via e-commerce platforms. "Our main advantage is our specialization in unique apples. We hope to promote the sales of even more small-scale apple products and provide consumers with a wide variety of rich flavors."
For more information:
Qingyang City Qing New Fruit Industry Co., Ltd.
Tel.: +86 18293094424