Prices first went up and then down because of increased demand during the holidays

Chinese Shatang tangerine sales are nearing the end of the season

The 2020/2021 season of Shatang tangerines is coming to an end. The price of Shatang tangerines in production areas suddenly went up because market demand increased in the period leading up to Spring Festival [12 February, 2021], while the production volume was limited. The price of top-quality fruit broke the record of 3.5 yuan [0.54 USD] per 0.5 kg. The price of regular Shatang tangerines was around 2.7-2.8 yuan [0.42-0.43 USD] per 0.5 kg. Towards the end of the holiday, the price of top-quality Shatang tangerines dropped to 3 yuan [0.47 USD] per 0.5 kg, while the price of regular Shatang tangerines dropped to 2.5 yuan [0.39 USD] per 0.5 kg.

The price had been relatively low since the beginning of the season. The trade price rarely exceeded 2 yuan [0.31 USD] per 0.5 kg. Many farmers sold their tangerines in large volumes around New Year to avoid frost damage during the cold winter period. This dragged the price down. In addition, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic complicates distribution, which pushed the price of Shatang tangerines to historical lows.

In some areas the price of Shatang tangerines dropped below 1 yuan [0.15 USD] per 0.5 kg. However, around Chinese Spring festival [12 February, 2021] market demand increased and the outbreak of Covid-19 in China was largely brought under control. That is why the price of Shatang tangerines recently increased. Furthermore, now that the season is coming to an end, the supply volume is dwindling while market demand remains strong. This further pushes the price up. However, that situation was only temporary. The product quality this late in the season is not great, and other citrus fruits such as the Orri mandarin enter the peak period of their sales season. Many visiting traders shift their attention from Shatang tangerines to Orri mandarins. That is why the price of Shatang tangerines is now falling.

Data shows that in the period from 2003 until 2013, the Shatang tangerines was the best-earning tangerine in Guangxi and Guangdong. The price showed a steady rise for 14 years in a row. At the height of their fame, the wholesale price of Shatang tangerines reached 5-6 yuan [0.78-0.93 USD] per 0.5 kg, and the retail price was more than 10 yuan [1.55 USD] per 0.5 kg.

The high price encouraged farmers to expand the overall surface area devoted to Shatang tangerine plantation. The overall surface area currently devoted to Shatang tangerine plantation in Guangxi already exceeds 333,333 hectares, and then there are also production areas in Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangxi, and Sichuan. The farmers blindly followed the trend of Shatang tangerines, which is why the production volume suddenly expanded, and that is why the price is now falling.

Source: Asia Fruit Preservation Technology Association

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