Affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, the volume of imported blueberries over recent months has declined compared with previous years, which gives blueberries grown locally a competitive edge in the Chinese market. So far, products from Shandong have been on the market for about two weeks. Liu, manager at Qingdao Aomori Zhenpin talked about current pricing and market conditions of blueberries from this province.
“Our crops arrived at the market at the end of March. This year, the production areas here have not been hit by significant typhoons or frosts, and the production is relatively stable,” Liu said. “There are three forms of blueberry cultivation in Shandong - heated greenhouse, unheated greenhouse, and open-field. The volumes that became available in the early season were mainly greenhouse blueberries. Since last week, the volume in the market has gradually increased, but as the Chinese market has only just opened up after a period of inactivity, supply and demand have not yet fully recovered. As far as the current situation is concerned, the price of locally grown blueberries is about 10% lower than the same period in previous years. "
"Shandong is a key province for blueberry production, accounting for more than 60% of the country’s total production. Its coastal geographical conditions and climatic advantages are favorable for blueberry growth, leading to fruit with high sweetness and good eating quality. O’Neal is the main variety that we grow. Compared with the 5% sugar content of other varieties, O'Neal is very sweet and is almost free of tartness (its sugar content can reach more than 15%), and is very fragrant. It’s very popular with consumers and is selling very fast. "
“As this fruit hasn’t reached substantial quality in the market, the price is still high at this stage, at about 70 yuan per half a kilo, 10% lower than the same period last year. The peak season in Yunnan ends about a week from now. Since the cost of growing this fruit in Yunnan is low, its prices are lower,” the manager said. “Normally, blueberries from Shandong only get a sales advantage after those from Yunnan have left the market. Unlike ordinary every-day fruit, the higher-priced blueberries are considered as a premium fruit. It has certain health benefits, its target audience and consumption are relatively stable, and our market prices do not fluctuate too much every year."
"Our products are mainly sold to Beijing, Shanghai and first-tier cities in East China." In addition to blueberries, Aomori Zhenpin also offers niche products such as Aomori apples and Venus gold apples. "We are committed to offering selected and differentiated products and creating a supply chain for premium products. Through direct sales from the origin, we reduce the cost of intermediate links and allow consumers to taste high-quality fruit at a more competitive price."