After the Qingming Festival, traders with good sales began to source from production areas to replenish stocks. Affected by the unsatisfactory sales in most markets, prices in production areas continued to fall, especially for general grade products. In the coming months, apple prices are expected to remain on the decline. Since the Spring Festival, the price of apple futures has been falling, from 6,000 yuan per ton to the current 5,000 yuan, a decline of about 17%. Data show that as of March 18, the cold storage capacity in Shandong has reached 68%, the highest level in the same period in history, and prices were not optimistic.
The current market is very similar to that of 2014/15. Prices of the new crop are initially high, and the volume and proportion of fruit being put into storage is high. Especially, the market is very similar to that of 2015 - the volume in storage is large, sales are slow, and the Spring Festival is later than usual. Compared with that year, there are two additional unfavorable conditions. The first is the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic; the second is the low citrus prices of only two or three yuan per half a kilo. Because of short storage lives, most of the citrus products were marketed before the Spring Festival. Due to the large volumes on the market in a short period of time, the product was marketed at very low prices, eating into the apple market.
It is reported that transactions in various production areas have not sped up significantly since the Qingming Festival. Traders are mainly selling their own stock, and there are not many traders who make new purchases, so things are slow in production areas. Judging from the current stock volume and the speed of sales, it may be considered good if 70% of the stock can be digested before the Spring Festival. It would be end of March when the effect of holiday wears off, and seasonal fruits from Southern China will become available in May, leaving only two or three months for apples. It is highly likely that prices will slowly fall before April and start to plummet when growers with apples in storage lose their faith and sell at discounted prices.
Source: Northwest Fruit Industry Information