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Fruit prices surge in Chinese market

By Dominique Patton, 06-Apr-2006

Related topics: Markets, Supply chain

Fruit prices in China are not likely to fall next month, after rising by about 20-30 per cent in most regions.

Industry sources told AP-Foodtechnology.com that most supermarkets and retailers are selling imported produce at this time of year.

Previously importers had avoided paying import duties but customs officials have now clamped down on the industry, said the source who did not wish to be named.

 

China imported over 1 million tons of fruit valued at US$590 million in the first 11 months of 2005.

 

Currently the Chinese only consume an average 45.6 kilograms of fruit a year but if China is to reach the world average fruit consumption of 61.4 kg per capita, it needs to import about 20 million tons more a year.

 

More domestic production in coming months will increase supplies and allow for lower prices but prices are expected to stay high into April.

 

Changeable weather has also delayed fruits like strawberries, pineapples and mangoes from reaching the market, says the Shanghai Fruit Association.

 

And rising energy costs have pushed up transport prices to northern cities.

 

However the price of melons, loquats, nectarines and bananas is expected to drop slightly when local produce reaches the shelves towards the end of the month.