Mangosteen Prices in China Witness Sharp Decline

Updated:2020-05-28 13:14:54 Clicks:hits 【Size:Big Mid Small Favorite

Maymarks the beginning of the peak harvest season for Thai mangosteens. As theexport volume of this fruit to China increased, prices inevitably witnessed asharp decline. At some fruit wholesale markets throughout China, the price ofmangosteens, which previously sold for as much as 230–240 Chinese yuan ($32–34)for an eight-kilogram carton of 4a specification in mid-April, fell to 140–150yuan ($20–21) in mid-May.

Todate, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Vietnam have secured marketaccess to China for their mangosteens. Among these countries, Thailandcurrently enjoys the lion’s share of the Chinese mangosteen market. Data fromChina Customs indicate that Thailand exported 341,000 tons of mangosteens witha total value of $795 million to China in 2019, corresponding to 92.6% ofChina’s total mangosteen imports.

However,in the first quarter of 2020, the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 epidemiccaused China’s mangosteen imports to shrink drastically to only 25,000 tons,which represents a 63% decrease compared with the same period last year. Only5,331 tons of this total import volume originated from Thailand, correspondingto a year-on-year decrease of 89%. As the Thai mangosteen harvest came intofull swing in May, exports to China are expected to see substantial growth inthe second and third quarters of 2020.

Thaimangosteens are predominantly grown in the eastern and southern parts of thecountry, with the supply season typically lasting from April to December.Exports to mainland China account for almost 70% of Thailand’s total mangosteenexports, with other export destinations such as Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwanmaking up a much lower percentage.

Accordingto some Chinese fruit dealers, Thai mangosteens generally boast a thinner skin,a superior taste and better freshness preservation measures.

Indonesianmangosteens have also made excellent progress on the Chinese market in the lasttwo years since regaining market access to China in January 2018. In 2019,Indonesia exported 19,489 tons of mangosteens to China, representing anincrease of 161% over the previous year. In the first three months of 2020,Indonesian mangosteens still maintained strong momentum, with the export volumeto China totaling 18,106 tons.

Themarket supply of Indonesian mangosteens lasts throughout much of the year, withthe peak harvest season occurring between November and February. However, thegreater distance between Indonesia and China is an inherent disadvantage forIndonesian mangosteens compared with Thai mangosteens; only three days areneeded for Thai mangosteens to reach China via land, whereas Indonesianmangosteens require a 13-day sea shipment.

OnOct. 1, 2019, Chinese authorities also gave the green light to Vietnamesemangosteens. Prior to this announcement, some fruit entered China in the formof cross-border trading despite the lack of official market access. Comparedwith mangosteens from Thailand, those from Vietnam enjoy an even lower price aswell as a shorter transit distance. However, since China strengthened itstesting standards for Vietnamese agricultural products earlier this year, nomangosteens from the country have yet made their way into China via officialroutes in 2020.

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