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Large volumes of Yunnan Shine Muscat grapes, leading to 50% decrease in price

Since March, Shine Muscat grapes from Yunnan production areas have flooded the market, marking the onset of the grape season. Being the primary region for Shine Muscat production in China, this year's prices have notably plummeted compared to the previous year. Industry analysts anticipate further price drops, potentially rendering Shine Muscat grapes "unsalable" by the peak season.

Yunnan Shine Muscat growers report a stark contrast in prices compared to the previous year. High-quality fruits that fetched ¥110/kg last year are now selling for around ¥50/kg, reflecting the substantial decline. Wholesale prices this year exhibit a wide disparity due to varying quality standards. High-quality grapes are priced at ¥60-70/kg, while poor-quality ones have dipped below ¥20/kg.

On e-commerce platforms, pricing for Shine Muscat varies depending on fruit size and quality. A bundle of 1,500g of high-quality Shine Muscat, with individual fruits weighing 12-15g, is sold for ¥228, approximately ¥152/kg. Meanwhile, a bundle of 1,500g containing smaller fruits weighing 8-10g goes for ¥116, around ¥76/kg. Actual selling prices may slightly differ based on quality and seller.

Once hailed as the "Hermès of grapes," Shine Muscat, originally introduced from Japan, commanded prices exceeding ¥200/kg when domestically produced. However, despite expanded cultivation and year-round supply facilitated by preservation techniques, prices have plummeted to unprecedented lows.

Reports indicate that in 2023, wholesale prices dipped below ¥20/kg, with prices as low as ¥14-16/kg during peak seasons in July and August. While increased output contributes to price declines, diminishing quality poses a significant challenge. Complaints from consumers about diminished sweetness and lack of fruity flavor suggest quality issues. Analysts attribute these problems to varying cultivation methods and premature harvesting practices by some farmers.

Market trends reveal a sequential release of Shine Muscat grapes across different regions. Early batches from Yunnan hit the shelves in April, followed by Guangxi and Guangdong in late June to early July. From August onwards, Shine Muscat from Hunan, Sichuan, Chongqing, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Shanghai becomes available. Harvesting extends northward to Henan and Hebei until early November. In the latter half of the year, Yunnan and Guangxi employ a "two-crops-a-year" approach, with the second season maturing between New Year's Day and Chinese New Year.

Source: China Fruit Marketing Association

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