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Week 13 Fruit Wholesale Market Report

Chilean stone fruits flood the market, while imported grape sales remain sluggish.

With the recent arrival of a large shipment of Chilean plums in Hong Kong, the market has been flooded with Chilean stone fruits over the past two weeks, resulting in an immediate drop in prices. Among the stone fruits, plums, including red plums and Sweet Mary varieties, have garnered the most popularity.

Merchants report that plum prices plummeted by approximately 30% last week compared to before, with a slight rebound observed this week. Currently, prices vary across different grades, with plastic-framed fruits fetching around ¥160-¥180 per piece, and medium-sized fruits priced at about ¥130-¥140 per piece. However, there are several other price levels as well. Some merchants attribute the low overall prices to recent arrivals of plums, some of which have quality issues such as cracks and inadequate wax coating, leading to unsatisfactory taste experiences. Nonetheless, some merchants note that the lower prices have spurred sales, resulting in a slight improvement compared to previous periods.

Left: Peruvian green grapes; Right: Chilean nectarines

The selling prices of Chilean nectarines and plums have also seen declines compared to last week. Presently, Sweet Mary commands a relatively higher price, around ¥200 per piece, owing to its superior taste. However, some merchants report that the current products do not match the taste quality of previous years. Although red plum prices have slightly rebounded from last week, they remain lower than during the same period in previous years. Nectarine prices exhibit more variability, influenced by quality issues like brown cores in some batches, which have led to price drops and a significant backlog of previous production.

Chilean red grapes

Overall, imported grape prices have dipped compared to the same period last year, with merchants citing challenging market conditions hindering price adjustments. Even Peruvian green grapes, typically popular in the market, are priced lower than before, impacting prices across grape varieties. Merchants note that Peruvian green grapes are nearing the end of their production season, with shipment volumes relatively low despite sluggish market demand. Currently, medium and large box sizes of Peruvian green grapes are priced around ¥220-¥240 per piece, marking a 15%-20% decrease from the same period last year. Sales have fallen short of expectations. Most green grape varieties available on the market at present are Autumn Crisp.

Left: South African pears; right: Indonesian mangosteens

South African pears are experiencing slow sales, with merchants reporting prices approximately 30% lower than last year. However, they anticipate an improvement in subsequent sales once the more popular mainstream varieties are launched. South African pears are particularly favored in the northern market, with Belgian Conference pears being the overall preferred choice.

Due to reduced production this season, the volume of cherries and nectarines from Dalian, China is lower than last year, leading to a rapid decline in Dalian cherry prices, which now sit below previous years' levels.

Dalian cherries

Conversely, certain fruit products have seen increased sales recently due to the consumption effect of the Qingming Festival, such as Indonesian mangosteens. Merchants report improved prices and sales, with selling prices rising by approximately 20% compared to earlier. Blueberry merchants anticipate relatively stable prices leading up to the Qingming Festival.

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