Chinese apple market "very interesting" this year, says importer

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Chinese apple market "very interesting" this year, says importer

A Chinese importer is bullish on opportunities for Canadian cherries this year and believes a short Chinese apple harvest will lead to strong prices for imported product.

Lantao Shanghai Great Harvest founder John Wang told he was optimistic about Canada's access breakthrough, with cherry imports from the North American country just starting.

"Personally I believe they have a good opportunity because they are later than the Washington season and close to the Moon Festival (Sep. 19)," he said.

"There are not a lot of BC (British Columbia) cherries compared to Washington State. For 5kg (11lbs) boxes, a rough idea is that we're expecting five million boxes maximum."

Photo: Longwu wholesale fruit import market, Shanghai.

Photo: Longwu wholesale fruit import market, Shanghai.

He labeled the apple market as very interesting right now - even though the market was currently quiet for Chilean Galas - because the domestic crop would be down.

"Normally in July-August we don’t move too many apples in the Chinese market - normally we start later in August, when it gets better and starts moving.

"All of China's domestic apple crop is probably reduced by anything around 30%, so we’re thinking this season there will be aa great opportunity for apples in China.

"When the apples were blooming during April there was quite a lot of snow in the apple production areas; the two major provinces are Shandong and Shanxi, and there is also some production in Gansu and Xinjiang, and they all had snow at the same time."

In terms of other imported products, he was hopeful that Californian officials could come to an agreement on renewed citrus access with their Chinese counterparts, while he was very positive about South African product.

"The grapefruit arrivals from South Africa are of good quality now we’re starting to get all the oranges - the Navels, Valencias, and the Midknights start coming in shortly.

"We anticipate that we’ll have a great season before the Moon Festival for South African citrus."

In terms of Australian grape imports, he said the fruit did well at the start of the season but importers were losing a lot of money in the mid and late season.

"Personally, I don’t think there is a great opportunity for Australian grapes and citrus because everything costs too much when you compare with product from South Africa."

He said Chilean exporters would have a lot to learn after a season of poor quality Red Globe grapes.

"They must be losing a lot of money because of the quality issues. When they’re loading the grapes they’re looking good, but then after the 30-day transit they arrive in China - horrible quality.

"I've never seen this before, so everybody’s going to learn."


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