Spring Festival sales were 'stable', says Tenhands Industries
The Taiwanese market registered strong sales for a range of products in the lead up to Chinese New Year on Jan. 31, according to importer Tenhands Industries Co.
"The situation this year in Taiwan is very good, with slow but stable growth and prices that are also stable," the company's Jiang Ruolan told www.freshfruitportal.com.
The importer said cherries and apples have always been the main fruits sold during the period, but this year Jiang's company also imported such products as Chilean nectarines and Peruvian grapes.
"The two products arrived just in time before the New Year, so the sales were not bad," she said.
Jiang added that Chile's port strikes in San Antonio, which lasted for three weeks at the start of the year, did not have a great influence on the market.
"There was only a strike in one of the two [main] ports while the other [Valparaiso] continued working, so we exported from the other one and that hasn't affected us up until now.
Due to unusual frosts last year, the number of Chilean stonefruit received was cut in half, however for Jiang this was not a major product in any case. Prices went up before Chinese New Year and then went back to a "general" level, however they are are still higher than what they were in the previous quarter.
She added that Chilean stonefruit still could not obtain legal permission to enter directly into the Chinese market, so there was always a risk to import them.
"Chilean nectarines do not enter into the Chinese market legally. They take a gray route, in which containers get to customs in Hong Kong and later they are transported to Guangzhou.
In contrast, she added the risk of stonefruit imports from Australia was very low.
"Currently, there are Australian stonefruit in the Chinese mainland market. Australia has a shorter distance, less risk and a higher price."
With regards to Peruvian grapes, Jiang said Red Globe continued to be the variety of choice, while Taiwan did not have trends toward seedless grapes.
"Taiwan has its variety of 'Kyoho' grapes and the price is very low, but it doesn't compare to the Chinese mainland. Therefore, the trend of an increase in seedless grapes is not very high."