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USDA Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual

China: Weather conditions during crop development in 2021 expected to have little impact on apples, pears, and table grapes production

Weather conditions during crop development in 2021 are expected to have little impact on the production of apples, pears, and table grapes, forecast at 45 MMT, 18 MMT, and 11 MMT, respectively.

Consumer demand for domestic and imported fruit is forecast to be weak due to the economic slowdown following the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, ongoing supply chain disruptions are expected to keep transportation costs high and cause shortages in shipping containers adding uncertainty across the fruit trade, both for imports and exports. Sources indicate that recent energy shortages are not expected to impact deciduous fruit distribution, which relies to a limited extent on electricity.

China’s apple production is forecast to grow to 45 million metric tons (MMT) in marketing year (MY) 2021/22 (July-June) from the Post revised estimate of 44.1 MMT in MY 2020/21. According to industry
sources, weather anomalies in MY 2021/22 are expected to have a minor impact on overall apple production. However, fruit quality, especially fruit size and appearance (color) are expected to be
seriously affected. Across major apple producing provinces, growers experienced complex and changing weather patterns during the first 10 months of 2021, including spring frosts, summer hail, summer
drought, and excessive rains in autumn. Industry sources report that in Shaanxi, the largest apple producing province in China, fruit sizes are smaller compared to the previous season due to a summer
drought. In Shandong, the second largest apple producer, hailstorms in early October 2021 caused damage to the outer surface of apples. In short, in MY 2021/22 the percentage of high-quality domestic
apples is forecast to be much lower than the prior year.

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