China has halted the import of Taiwanese custard apples. The peak period of the custard apple harvest in Taidong begins this month, but the factories where custard apples are gathered and processed remain quiet. Large custard apples used to sell for about 60 yuan [9.41 USD] per 0.5 kg, but this year the price dropped by 50% to barely 30 yuan [4.71 USD] per 0.5 kg. Medium- and small-sized custard apples sell for even less. Moreover, the export market is limited to Hong Kong and Singapore. Domestic sales include purchases by farmer's associations outside of Taidong, as well as e-commerce platforms of farmer's associations, but they have not yet begun to purchase in large volumes.
Factory floors used to be crowded around this time of year as people gather and package the custard apples, but now the factory floors are quiet. Domestic demand is limited. Taibei Farmer's Market is buying small volumes, but the purchase price does not exceed 30 yuan [4.71 USD] per 0.5 kg. Some farmers say that even A-grade, large custard apples sell for less than 45 yuan [7.06 USD] per 0.5 kg, and that has been the highest price in more than a month. In previous years the prices ranged around 50-60 yuan [7.84-9.41 USD] per 0.5 kg, or even 70 yuan [10.98 USD] per 0.5 kg. This year, however, the price rarely exceeded 30 yuan [4.71 USD] per 0.5 kg.
Custard apple production areas in Taiwan focused on promotion of domestic sales and new export markets after China announced their prohibition on Taiwanese custard apple import. However, according to the Luyeh Farmer's Cooperative, their e-commerce platform only received small orders. They are planning to purchase 2,000 kg of custard apples from 20 associated farmers at 45 yuan [7.06 USD] per 0.5 kg and distribute the custard apples to friendly farmer's cooperatives in 6 counties, including Xinzhu and Meinong.
Source: China Times Group