Strawberries 2012

An Expert's View about Tree and Bush Fruits and Nuts in China

Posted on: 29 Dec 2012

OAA/Beijing estimates that China’s fresh and frozen strawberry production will reach 2.1 million metric tons and 150,000 metric tons, respectively.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Voluntary Public - Date: 12/17/2012 GAIN Report Number: 12075 China - Peoples Republic of Post: Beijing Strawberries Report Categories: Strawberries Approved By: Michael Riedel Prepared By: Ryan Scott and Zhang Lei Report Highlights: OAA/Beijing estimates that China’s fresh and frozen strawberry production will reach 2.1 million metric tons and 150,000 metric tons, respectively, reflecting increases of five and fifteen percent over last year. More than 95 percent of open-field production is used to process frozen strawberries. Chile is China’s largest frozen strawberry supplier, largely due to the timelines of exportable supplies and low import duties of nine percent, a benefit of the China-Chile free trade agreement. Production: Fresh Strawberries OAA/Beijing estimates that China’s fresh strawberry production for marketing year (MY) 2012/13 (November-June) will reach 2.1 million metric tons (MMT), an increase of five percent from MY 2011/12, based on favorable weather conditions and a slight acreage expansion in Northern China. China’s strawberry acreage consists of greenhouses (40 percent), plastic sheds (40 percent), and open field (20 percent). Japanese varieties, such as Toynoka, Benihoppe, Akihime, and Tochiotome) are the leading sources for fresh strawberries. Due to the high price of commercial seedlings at RMB 50,000- 70,000 per hectare (US$7,900-11,000/ha), most farmers are self-cultivating their seedlings, resulting in lower yields and variety degeneration. Hebei, Shandong, Liaoning and Sichuan Province are the major production regions with fresh strawberries available from late November to June. Frozen Strawberries OAA/Beijing forecasts China’s frozen strawberry production for MY 2012/13 at 150,000 tons, an increase of 15 percent over the revised MY 2011/12 figure, largely based on higher domestic supplies. U.S. and European varieties (such as Senga Sengana, Honeoye, All Star, American 13, and Totem) are the main sources for frozen strawberries as their acidity and firmness are key attributes for processing. Shandong, Liaoning and Hebei are major frozen strawberry producing provinces in China. More than 95 percent of China’s fresh strawberries from open field production are processed. Prices: Fresh strawberries are very popular among consumers, especially in the winter, when few fresh fruits are available in Northern China. For instance, in December, prices for fresh strawberries in Beijing can reach RMB80/kg ($5.80/lbs), while prices of apple and citrus fruits are around RMB7-12/kg ($0.50- $0.85/lbs). The current average price for frozen strawberries in Hebei, the center of frozen strawberry producers, is around RMB3.5/kg ($0.25/lbs), a decrease of 30 percent from MY 2011/12 due to larger domestic supplies compared to the previous year. Consumption: 85 percent of China’s total strawberry production is consumed fresh; 15 percent is delivered to processors. Strawberries are highly perishable, especially the soft Japanese varieties, so gaps in China’s cold chain system limit the distribution reach of fresh strawberries. Air transportation is an alternative delivery system from Sichuan Province to Beijing. Domestic consumption of frozen strawberries is expected to increase steadily due to its increasing popularity as an ingredient in jam, jelly, juice, confectionary and dairy products. Trade: Imports: China has not granted import access for fresh strawberries to any country. Frozen strawberry imports are forecast at 8,500 MT in MY 2012/13, a slight increase from the revised MY 2011/12 figure of 8,057 MT. Chile is the largest frozen strawberry supplier to China, accounting to 57 percent of China’s import market in MY 2011/12, followed by Argentina (12 percent), Morocco (11 percent), Egypt (nine percent), and Peru (five percent). The majority of China’s imported frozen strawberries are processed into freeze-dried (FD) strawberries for re-export to the Netherlands and Japan. China’s bilateral free trade agreements with Chile and Peru reduces the import duty for frozen strawberries to nine percent for Chile and 21 percent for Peru while all other countries pay a 30 percent duty. H.S. Code Imp. Duty (%) VAT (%) 2011 2012 2011 2012 Strawberries (fresh) 08101000 14 14 13 13 Strawberries (frozen) 08111000 30 30 13 13 Exports: China only exports a small amount of fresh strawberries (H.S. code 081010) to neighboring countries due to high shipping costs. For instance, China’s average export price in 2011 was $1047 per ton, an increase of 20 percent from $873 per ton in 2010. In MY 2011/12, China exported 1,159 MT to Vietnam, Russia, and Macau. China’s frozen strawberry exports (H.S. code 081110) are forecast at 120,000 MT in MY 2012/13 (June-May), a five percent increase from the 114,014 MT in MY 2011/12. China’s exports have remained relatively stable between 110,000-120,000 MT from MY 2008-2011. The European Union accounted for 48 percent of China’s total exports in MY 2011/12, with The Netherlands accounting for 17 percent of China’s total exports in MY 2011/12. According to China’s Customs, China’s average frozen strawberry export price in MY 2011/12 was $1,433 per ton, a 29 percent increase over MY 2010/11 and 73 percent increase over MY 2009/10. Rising production costs (including labor and fertilizer) and appreciation of the Chinese Yuan are major factors having an impact on export prices. The peak season for frozen strawberry trade is from May to September, in tandem with the processing period. Marketing: Pick Your Own” is a popular activity, particularly in urban areas, where the public picks fresh strawberries in greenhouses. Fresh strawberries are a popular gift during Chinese New Year (mid January-mid February), as their red color represents happiness and prosperity in the Chinese culture. China’s domestic frozen strawberries have traditionally held a strong price advantage over imported products, therefore, high-end markets, such as star hotels and upper-level bakery shops, were the major buyers. Capacity Building and Outreach: Strawberry Symposium in Beijing, China: In February 2012, Beijing hosted the seventh International Strawberry Symposium. Over 1,000 agricultural scientists from around the world exchanged views on the latest strawberry cultivation technology. Initiated by the International Society for Horticultural Science in 1988, the International Strawberry Symposium is held every four years and is a high-level academic event highlighting the latest global high-tech achievements, production, and developments in the strawberry industry. This was the first time this symposium was held in Asia. Production, Supply and Demand Data Statistics : Fresh Strawberries Commodity Strawberries, fresh (HA)(MT) 2011 Revised 2012 Estimate 2013 Forecast USDA Post USDA Post USDA Post Official Estimate Official Estimate Official Estimate [Old] [New] [Old] [New] [Old] [New] Market Year Begin 01/2011 01/2012 01/2013 Area planted 120,000 133,000 125,000 135,000 0 133,000 Area harvested 120,000 133,000 125,000 135,000 0 133,000 Production 1,750,000 2,000,000 1,800,000 2,100,000 0 2,050,000 Imports 0 0 0 0 0 Total supply 1,750,000 2,000,000 1,800,000 2,100,000 0 2,050,000 Exports, fresh 600 800 500 1,000 0 1,000 Fresh Dome. 1,574,400 1,749,200 1,529,500 1,799,000 0 1,769,000 Consumption For Processing 175,000 250,000 270,000 300,000 0 280,000 TOTAL distribution 1,750,000 2,000,000 1,800,000 2,100,000 0 2,050,000 Frozen Strawberries Commodity Strawberries, frozen (MT)(Net Weight) 2010 Revised 2011 Estimate 2012 Forecast USDA Post USDA Post USDA Post Official Estimate Official Estimate Official Estimate [Old] [New] [Old] [New] [Old] [New] Market Year Begin 06/2011 06/2012 06/2013 Deliv. To 122,000 145,000 167,000 167,000 0 178,000 Processors Beginning Stocks 0 0 0 0 0 0 Production 110,000 130,000 150,000 150,000 0 160,000 Imports 7,500 8,057 8,000 8,500 0 8,000 TOTAL SUPPLY 117,500 138,057 158,000 158,500 0 168,000 Exports 95,000 114,014 130,000 125,000 0 130,000 Domestic 22,500 24,043 28,000 33,500 0 38,000 Consumption Ending Stocks 0 0 0 0 0 0 TOTAL 117,500 138,057 158,000 158,500 0 168,000 DISTRIBUTION
Posted: 29 December 2012

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