Apple prices in the Chinese market have surged to a record high of the last decade, following widespread frosts last year that cut production volumes by around 30%.
Jie Wang from the Macun Jiezi Fruit Distribution Center in Shanxi told FreshFruitPortal.com that since Chinese New Year, apple merchants had been trying to find more fruit to sell amid a rapid decline in supplies.
Some storage centers have now nearly run out of stock, with supplies falling well short of demand, he said.
According to Jie Wang, last season's frosts are the main reason for this supply crisis, and consequently, the main apple production areas in China have encountered significant volume cuts.
Linyi County and Wanrong County, where the country's two biggest apple cold storages are based, only have around one-third of the volume they had this time last year, leading to high prices, he explained.
Driven by the fear of running out of stocks, merchants have rushed to order from Linyi and Wanrong, resulting in the counties' shortages.
Jie Wang commented that the current price is about five or six cents per kilogram higher than what's typical during the peak season of the Chinese New Year. In the same period of last year, there was a lot of supply for the buyers to chose from, and much lower prices.
Some poorer-quality apples are even selling at higher prices than good-quality ones did last year, he said. The soaring price of apples has not hampered the enthusiasm of apple shoppers, though, he added.
According to the Apple Meteorological Service Center under China Meteorological Administration and other institutions, the apple blossom period in April 2019 is to be warmer than the historical average and the risk of frost will be less than last year.