The pineapple plants in many Chinese production areas have already begun to flower, and the harvest season is not far off. The production volume is estimated to decline somewhat due to unfavorable weather conditions. One pineapple grower in Guangdong talked about current conditions in Chinese pineapple production areas.
Most pineapple plants in China begin to flower between August and November. The harvest begins before the end of the year and generally continues until May. Some of the pineapples from Xuwen in Guangdong already enter the market in small volumes, but large volumes of pineapples will only enter the market after New Year.
Xuwen and Hainan are the two main pineapple production areas in China. Hainan primarily grows T17, T17, T11, and MD2 pineapples. The overall surface area devoted to pineapple plantation in Hainan expanded compared to last year. Xuwen mainly grows Bali pineapples. Their level of management technology has greatly improved. In the end, the overall surface area of flowering pineapple plants increased, so the production volume is expected to grow.
The weather conditions, however, are affected by the 'double-dip' La Niña, which means that the likelihood of cold weather increased, and the pineapples will therefore take longer to ripen. The 'double-dip' La Niña may also affect the product quality.
The market prices showed significant fluctuations last year. The General Administration Customs China (GACC) announced on the first of March that China would temporarily ban pineapple import from Taiwan. Domestic demand for Jinzuan pineapples from Guangdong and Hainan suddenly soared. Market demand exceeded supply, and so the price went up. In some places the retail price was as high as 150 yuan [23.47 USD] per box of 12kg. In April the product quality of Chinese pineapples declined because of unfavorable weather conditions. In addition, cold weather delayed the pineapples, so that they entered the market at the same time as lychee. Increased competition with lychee reduced the market demand for pineapples, and so the price dropped again to a mere 65 yuan [10.17 USD] per box.
When asked about the future trends in the pineapple market this year, the pineapple supplier from Guangdong replied: "It will take some time before we can judge the production volume and product quality of this year's harvest. And there are too many factors that influence market supply and demand. It is still too early to make predictions for this season."