The apple market is in chaos this year for a number of reasons. In previous years almost 50% of the new apple harvest was already consumed by the time Chinese Spring Festival [12 February, 2021] arrived. The remainder was put in storage. That is when the cold storage apples enter the market.
The Chinese fruit market is relatively quiet around this time of year, because for most fruits the autumn harvest is already sold out and the spring harvest is not yet ripe. Apples sell well in this period and the warehouses are usually emptied by Tomb-Sweeping Day [4 April, 2021] or Labor Day [1 May, 2021]. The small volume left over in warehouses is sold at low prices.
This season the apple price started out high, which suppressed market enthusiasm. This is a record year with one of the highest opening prices in the history of Chinese apple trade. People speculated about the extent to which the production volume decreased, and that is why the price started so high. Apple farmers were unwilling to sell at low prices, and visiting traders were unwilling to buy at high prices. That is why the apples stayed in storage for longer than usual. Furthermore, the outbreak of Covid-19 reduced consumer power, which increased the risk for apple traders with stock in storage. When the apple trade slowed down around Spring Festival, the apple price dropped.
The first trading day after Spring Festival mainly consists of traders who supplement their stock after the holiday sales. Few apple farmers enter the market just after the festival, and so the trade volume is limited. In Shandong, many of the cold storage warehouses in Xixia county have already opened their doors. The price of 80# apples started at 2-2.30 yuan [0.31-0.36 USD] per 0.5 kg. The price of third-rate apples was around 1.50-1.80 yuan [0.23-0.28 USD] per 0.5 kg.
Cold storage warehouses in Yiyuan county have also started apples sales. The delivery speed is regular, and the price is currently stable. In Shaanxi, the cold storage warehouses in Luochuan county are patiently awaiting the return of visiting merchants, but they have already started packaging in anticipation. Visiting traders purchase based on their own stock in storage. Few people are inquiring about the price of apples from farmers. In Shanxi, the price of 80# apples with protective paper membranes is around 2.10 yuan [0.33 USD] per 0.5 kg, while the price of 80# Fuji apples with protective pouches is around 1.40 yuan [0.22 USD] per 0.5 kg.