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Arid weather affects fruit quality

Chinese fruit suffers sun damage during record-breaking temperatures

Many places in China experienced record-breaking temperatures this summer. These temperatures had an impact on the growing process of fruit and on the sales conditions as well. Soft fruits in particular fared badly during the heatwave. The impact of high temperatures were visible in two ways. First, the heat quickened the ripening process of fruit, which was not favorable for fruit in transport and storage, especially for fruits with a relatively high sugar content. Second, dry and hot weather damages fruit and vegetables in the field. This will also have an indirect impact on the fruit production volume next season.

One tangerine grower in Hubei said, "the temperatures in July broke historical records and rainfall was extremely limited. The heatwave lasted for a long time and had a disastrous impact on the tangerines. In my orchard the number of sunburnt tangerines is 5%-20% higher than last year."

In Shaanxi, the largest production area of domestic kiwi fruit, temperatures nearly reached 50 degrees Celsius for several hours a day. Kiwi fruit in Guanzhong and Shannan, two major kiwi fruit production areas in Shaanxi, suffered severe sunburn. One kiwi fruit grower said with despair, "the conditions this year are terrible. High temperatures are fatal for kiwi fruit. The fruit ripened one or two weeks earlier than usual, and the heat affected the production volume as well."

Dragon fruit suffered severe damage from high temperatures as well. This is supposed to be the time of year when dragon fruit enters the market in large volumes, but this year the production volume declined by as much as 80%. If the temperatures continue to remain high, then that percentage will rise even further.

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