Chinese dragon fruit has gained much popularity in the domestic market since the import of Vietnamese dragon fruit has been hindered by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. There is a huge demand for domestic red heart dragon fruit from high-end restaurants and beverage shops. More recently the weather in south China has been abnormally warm, and there have been recurrent outbreaks of Covid-19 in other dragon fruit production areas. As a result, the price of dragon fruit slightly declined compared to two months ago.
Mr. Dong is the spokesperson for Longyisheng Fruit Industry, a specialized dragon fruit grower and trader from Nanning in Guangxi. The company plantation covers an area of 53 hectares and has an annual production volume of around 2 million kg. According to Mr. Dong, "this is the seventh harvest round this year. The weather in Guangxi was exceptionally warm in August when the plants blossomed, so the dragon fruit in this harvest round is somewhat small."
"Our red heart dragon fruit is primarily sold in Jiaxing Fruit Wholesale Market and distributed to provinces in north China. High-end restaurants, beverage shops, and KTV-bars have a huge demand for dragon fruit. However, many regions suffer from repeated outbreaks of Covid-19, which causes restaurants and such to temporarily close down. This reduces the overall demand volume, and puts pressure on the price. That is why the price of dragon fruit is now slightly lower than two months ago. The current market price is around 1.5-1.8 yuan [0.23-0.28 USD] per 0.5 kg, which is nearly one third less than the price of 2.0-2.5 yuan [0.31-0.39 USD] per 0.5 kg of two months ago," said Mr. Dong.
"Although the price slightly declined, production areas have had no problem selling their dragon fruit. That is primarily because Vietnamese import dragon fruit has difficulty reaching China during this pandemic. There have been some positive traces of Covid-19 on the packaging of Vietnamese import dragon fruit, and customs agencies have strengthened their inspection and quarantine procedures. The overland route between Vietnam and Guangxi used to take maybe 2-3 days, but now takes a week. The Chinese import volume of Vietnamese dragon fruit declined by half compared to last year."
The impact of the pandemic is not only visible on the consumer end. The pandemic also affects conditions in production areas. "Most of the fertilizer and pesticide that farmers use is imported. The pandemic affects distribution, and so the price of our imported fertilizer has gone up by more than 30%. Take carbamide as an example, the price last year was only 1,800 yuan [281 USD] per ton, but now the price is around 2,800 yuan [438 USD] per ton."
Mr. Dong continued: "Domestic consumers did not know that China has suitable areas for the plantation of dragon fruit. Now that the reputation of domestic dragon fruit is growing, the number of dragon fruit farmers is also growing. The annual production volume of domestic dragon fruit is expanding. Nanning in Guangxi is an important production area of dragon fruit. Dragon fruit production areas in Guangxi can have as many as 8-10 harvests per year. The peak period begins in April and continues until January in the subsequent year. The overall surface area devoted to dragon fruit plantation in Nanning was around 2,667-3,333 hectares in 2018, but already increased to around 12,000 hectares in 2020. That is nearly a fourfold expansion in just three years."
For more information:
Longyisheng Fruit Industry Co., Ltd.