Chinese fruit import volume fell while value increased in 2021

China's imported volume of fresh and dried fruits and nuts in 2020 amounted to 6.52 million tons, seeing a year-on-year decrease of 8.0%, while during the period between 2017 and 2019, the imported volume each year showed an increase. In 2017, it was 4.51 million tons (+13%); in 2018, it was 5.65 million tons (+25.2%); and in 2019, it was 7.09 million tons (+25.5%). In 2020, the imported value of this category amounted to US$11.56 billion, seeing a year-on-year increase of 2.5%. In 2017, it was US$6.222 billion (+8.8%); in 2018, it was US$8.4181 billion (+34.9%); and in 2019, it was US$11,286.8 million (+34.1%).

It can be seen from the above data analysis that 2020 is the year with the lowest growth among the past four years. However, compared with the negative growth in the imported volume, the unit import price has increased significantly. In 2020, the unit import price was US$1773.76/ton, increasing by 11.42% on the US$1591.93/ton seen in 2019.

Why did the import volume fall while the price rise?

There are a few possible reasons for the fall in imported volume:

1. At the beginning of last year, the Covid-19 pandemic began to spread around the world. There were fewer workers in the producing areas, leaving large volumes of fruit unharvested, and the supply decreased.

2. Countries around the globe have been adopting strict Covid-19 control policies, and China has strengthened its inspection of fruit import and export, which has led to a decrease in import volume.

There are a few possible reasons for the price increase:

1. Although the import volume has fallen, the demand for imported fruits in China has not shrunken, so the products are in short supply and prices naturally rose.

2. As a result of the pandemic, international shipping and flight costs have increased, resulting in an increase in the price of imported fruits.

3. In order to stimulate the economy, countries such as the United States have issued a large amount of currency to the market, which has led to an overall acceleration of inflation in the world economy. The price of daily necessities has risen worldwide, and fruits are no exception. It is reported that fruit prices in Argentina increased by 228% in a few months.

How will the imported fruit market develop in 2021?
As the vaccine production and vaccinated population grow in each country and the global pandemic is brought under control, China's fruit imported volume this year is expected to recover or even exceed the level of 2019, but the import price will remain at a historical high due to inflation.

Source: China Business Industry Research Institute Database

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