The price of pears was extremely low last year, so a number of farmers cut down their trees and changed crops. This year the overall production volume of pear production areas in Hebei is expected to decline. Moreover, inflation, cost of packing, and high shipping costs all add to the purchase price of pears, which is about 20% higher than around this time last year. Ms. Li, company spokesperson for Hebei Xionghan Agricultural Products Co., Ltd., recently talked about current conditions in the pear market.
According to Ms. Li: "The pear trees blossomed in April and when the pears began to form they were packed in protective pouches. During the last two months, weather conditions have been stable without sudden temperature drops or heavy rainfall. The pears have grown well. Crown pears, for example, already weigh around 150 grams apiece. The first harvest of Crown pears is expected to start on the 5th of July. For other varieties the harvest has already begun, including New Pear No. 7, Early Crunchy pears, and Green Jade pears."
"We expect the overall production volume in Hebei to drop below the regular level. Last year the purchase price was rather low and a number of farmers suffered financial loss, or were too old to continue investing in fruit trees, so they decided to cut their trees and change crops," said Ms. Li. "However, we aim to preserve the fruit trees and have therefore decided to expand the overall surface area in our orchards. This is also a guarantee against low production volumes in the coming years."
"The retail price of pears was rather high in April and May, and the prices in production areas are changing every day. The domestic sales volumes and export volumes were rather high in April and May. The reserves are more or less finished. There is only a small volume of early-season Crown pears in storage," said Ms. Li. "The market is dominated by seasonal summer fruits such as melons, and imported tropical fruits from Southeast Asia. The price of domestic pears dropped in late May. In production areas the price of Crown pears declined by as much as 20%-25%. While the product quality declined in the final stage of the season, exporters have strict selection requirements, so the export price did not come down. The new pear harvest is expected to begin in July. The price of Crown pears in storage is no longer showing an upward trend."
Hebei Xionghan Agricultural Products has already begun discussing export plans with overseas clients. "Clients have made their requirements for packaging clear. The current supply volume is rather small because the product quality is lower at the end of the sales season, and most pears do not survive the long sea voyage very well. Clients in Europe and the USA stopped placing orders in late May. Only clients in Southeast Asia, who do not suffer as much from backlogs in ports, still order pears from China. Countries close to China suffer fewer delays in shipping."
"Shipping fees to some ports have come down in June, but ever since garlic recently entered the market, the cost of shipping to Europe, the USA, and Southeast Asia has gone up by 15%-20%. We can not eliminate the possibility that the shipping fees will rise even further when pears enter the market in large volumes," said Ms. Li.
When asked about the global shipping crisis, pandemic, and inflation, Ms. Li replied, "This year the prices in domestic markets and overseas markets have all gone up. Add the decline in production volume, and limited apple production volumes too, we can say with some confidence that the purchase price of pears will drop by 10%-20%. On top of that, the cost of packaging and domestic transport have gone up as well, and so the export price can only go up this season."
"We are in negotiation with our clients on topics such as the purchase price, but the rising cost of pears will not have an impact on their desire to buy. We are now making preparations for a new season of pear purchases."
For more information:
Ms. Li Xixi
Hebei Xionghan Agricultural Products Co., Ltd.
Shijiazhuang Star Crown Import and Export Trade Co., Ltd.
Tel.: +86 175 0320 2183