Week 43 import market review

Laotian pineapples testing the waters in China - New variety of Japanese apples

This week, the import market is still recovering from the holidays. South East Asian and Southern Hemisphere fruit, like mangoes, oranges, blueberries and avocadoes, are mainly occupying the market. However, the Chinese import market has also welcomed some new products, namely Laotian pineapples. Simultaneously, a new variety of Japanese apples has entered the market: Toki apples. They are very popular on the high-end market.

Following the arrival of the first Costa Rican ship at the port of Shanghai last week, Laotian pineapples also arrived this week, enriching the imported pineapple supply. When looking at the imported pineapples from the Philippines, Laos and Costa Rica, Philippine pineapples are seen as the best by purchasers. This is mainly because these are sweeter, and more suitable for the taste of Chinese consumers. 

Because of the distance, Costa Rican pineapples are harvested rather early, so they are not as ripe, giving them a sour taste. The Laotian pineapples are sweeter than the Costa Rican ones, but their flesh is not as golden. Laotian pineapples are now sold for around 60 yuan (10#), Costa Rican ones for 80 yuan, and Philippine pineapples for 90 yuan (9#). It is obvious that Laotian pineapples have a clear price advantage.

Laotian pineapples

Costa Rican pineapples

Apart from the new Laotian pineapples, there is now also a new variety of Japanese apples on the import market: Toki apples. This is a well-known apple breed from Aomori, Japan, comparable to Sekaiichi apples. Aomori has Japan's oldest apple trees. It is the main apple production region in Japan, responsible for 50% of Japan's total apple production. It has brought forth many popular apple breeds, like Sekaiichi, Ourin and Natsumidori. Toki apples are a crossbreed between Ourin and Fuji apples, and they are aromatic and sweet. The current Toki export to China is still limited. Even though Chinese consumers like the taste, the high price means that they are mostly offered on the high-end market. The Toki apples in Shanghai have started at 750 yuan per box, and are very popular among high-end buyers.


Japanese Toki apples

Furthermore, the Southern Hemisphere orange season is at its end. The quality has been unstable, so the price has also been fluctuating. Even though the price has been rather stable during the season, it dropped last week. Compared to prices of between 170 and 190 yuan last week, it has now dropped to 160 yuan. Australian oranges, with similar quality and price, have not seen that big a price decrease. Their price is rather stable between 330 and 350 yuan, with inferior produce selling for around 300 yuan. However, their sales speed has been slowing down.

Author: Yang Shuang

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