Spokesperson for Jiaxing Guxiang Co., Ltd., Manager Gu Xiang, says this is just the time of year when Tunisian seedless pomegranates from Huili enter the market. Recently, he talked about current conditions and future trends in the Chinese pomegranate market.
Huili in Sichuan, an important production area of Tunisian seedless pomegranates, enjoys a subtropical climate with sufficient rainfall, large temperature differences between day and night, and abundant sunshine.
The unique geographical and meteorological conditions in this area are excellent for the cultivation of pomegranates.
The Tunisian seedless pomegranates from Huili have a thin fruit peel, a lustrous color, and soft, edible seeds. Furthermore, the flavor is sweet and the fruit is juicy.
Gu first introduced different aspects of the market. “The opening price was relatively high when the pomegranates first entered the market, but some farmers harvested their pomegranates before they were fully ripe and sold them as such.
‘’They asked for high prices, but market feedback was not great and some of these pomegranates became unmarketable. As a result, the price quickly dropped. Some farmers then rushed their harvest, which only made the situation worse. The current purchase price in production areas and the market price both maintain a downward trajectory”, Gu explains.
“The purchase price of common quality pomegranates in production areas is now around 3.5 yuan [0.54 USD] per 0.5 kg, and the market price is more or less the same. Farmers and traders are suffering financial loss.”
When asked about future trends in the next few weeks, Gu answered: “The current price has already dropped to a low point and is not likely to drop further. In a few weeks ripe pomegranates will enter the market in large volumes, and since the product quality and sweetness of these pomegranates will be much better, the price is likely to improve and the retail speed will pick up again.”
Jiaxing Guxiang Co., Ltd. owns a pomegranate plantation in Huili that covers an area of around 67 hectares. Their retail channels include e-commerce platforms such as JD and Xiaomi, as well as large-scale supermarket chains such as Hualian Supermarkets, and Rainbow Department Stores, and specialised fruit stores such as Pioneer and Greenleaf.
“Seedless pomegranates are high-end market products. Product quality and price are both higher than for regular pomegranates. And they are very popular with Chinese consumers. We sell our seedless pomegranates in various sizes and packages to meet the requirements of different client audiences. We sell the premium Red Bottle gift box (9 pomegranates) and the Little Red Bottle gift box (6-9 pomegranates).”
When asked about the unique advantages of Jiaxing Guxiang, manager Gu explained: “Our main advantage is standardized production. The Tunisian seedless pomegranate has a thin fruit peel, which means that this pomegranate is easily bruised, but the damage is not apparent in the production area.
‘’Not until the pomegranates arrive in the supermarket does the damage begin to show. In order to solve this problem, we have purchased the first Reemoon Hufu-style fruit selection line in China. This selection line was originally developed for peaches, as they bruise easily, but works very well for pomegranates too. The selection line sorts our pomegranates without doing damage to the fruit, which greatly improves the product quality and efficiency of the pomegranates we supply to our clients.”
“In addition to careful selection of our fruit, we also pay attention to the storage conditions”, said Gu. “When our pomegranates come in from the harvest, we first pre-cool them in our refrigerated warehouse, so that the fruit loses the heat from the field. This helps to maintain flavor, fragrance, and sweetness, and simultaneously prevents damage during the actual cooling period. This method greatly extends the shelf life of pomegranates.”