As the pomelo season concludes, a Chinese New Year atmosphere surrounds Pinghe county, the main source of pomelo from China. The locals now have a moment to themselves after the intense harvest season.
Reflecting on the achievements of the past year, the figures reported by China Customs for 2023 reveal a remarkable upward trend. There has been an increase of over 20% in volume compared to the entire previous year, coupled with a corresponding surge of over 30% in value for exports to the Netherlands. These numbers mark the third consecutive year of sustained growth since 2021.
Mr. Lan Bilong, General Manager of Onedayone Group Zhangzhou, attributes this increase primarily to a reduction in shipping costs. "Our business faced multiple challenges in 2023, including a late start for pomelos, escalating labor costs, and a nearly halved yield rate for medium-sized pomelos destined for Europe. This was due to increased rainfall from April to August, which led to a doubled pomelo market buying price for the medium sizes. However, the decrease in shipping costs has emerged as a significant motivating factor for exporters to actively pursue opportunities in the European market," he stated.
"The entire market faced shortages of medium-sized pomelos; we acted early to secure our source with our prompt professional judgment, thus, our growth outpaced the industry," Lan added. Regarding shipping costs, the market cost from Xiamen to Rotterdam in September 2022 was approximately USD 4,200 per container, whereas in September 2023, the price had plummeted to USD 950 per container.
In 2020, China recorded exporting 83,913 tons of pomelos to the Netherlands. However, the export figures experienced a significant decline, almost halving in the following year.
"As an exporter, we have maintained overall control over the supply. In my opinion, the fluctuation is primarily from the demand side, influenced by various complex factors, especially the challenges posed by shipping costs. The steady recovery in pomelo exports to the Netherlands shows the resilience of the industry and the adaptability of exporters in navigating challenges to sustain growth. The Chinese pomelo market remains poised for further success, building on the achievements of 2023," Mr. Lan concluded.
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