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Yunnan Blueberry Prices Fall by Over 100 Yuan per Kilogram

April 22, 2022

According to local media reports, the price of open-air blueberries in Yunnan province has fallen to approximately 40–80 Chinese yuan ($6.17–12.34) per kilogram because of the increased quantities now available. This represents a drop of more than 100 yuan ($15.43) per kilogram since the fruit first came onto the market. Furthermore, fruit merchants expect that the price will continue to decrease to around 30–60 yuan ($4.63–9.26) per kilogram in May.

At the Daguan Zhuanxin farmers market, Kunming’s largest, signs offering discounts and sales are commonplace among the blueberry stands. Local fruit dealers said that the price of common varieties of blueberries was around 60–80 yuan ($9.26–12.34) per kilogram in recent days, with even the best-quality blueberries not exceeding 100 yuan ($15.43) per kilogram. Smaller, less flavorful blueberries were being sold for as little as 40 yuan ($6.17) per kilogram, the fruit dealers claimed, when only last month they were trading as high as 200 yuan ($30.85).

Blueberry prices in Yunnan are typically highest between the Chinese New Year period in late January or February and the end of March. Because of the limited quantities available during this time, the wholesale price of high-quality blueberries is usually around 150 yuan ($23.14) per kilogram. It is generally expected that by late April or early May, when large quantities of open-air blueberries reach the market, prices will fall to 30–60 yuan ($4.63–9.26) per kilogram. At the same time, owing to increased transportation costs, the current blueberry market is worse than in previous years.

With mountains covering 94% of the province, Yunnan’s climate provides uniquely favorable environmental conditions for blueberry production. In the mountainous areas, the annual temperature variation is small, while the temperature difference between day and night is large. Therefore, there is no freezing damage, and the low temperatures allow for natural vernalization, stimulating the plant’s flowering process. Furthermore, the average sunshine duration is long, which is highly beneficial for blueberry production. These factors make Yunnan province the most suitable production area for blueberries in all of China. In 2021, blueberry cultivation areas in Yunnan covered 6,667 hectares, with an output of around 45,000 tons, ranking sixth in China in terms of both planting area and output.

At present, there are four main blueberry production areas in the province: central Yunnan, southern and southeastern Yunnan, northeastern Yunnan, and western and northwestern Yunnan. Southern and southeastern Yunnan, dominated by Honghe, Xishuangbanna and Pu’er, is the largest blueberry-producing area in the province, while western and northwestern Yunnan, dominated by Dali and Baoshan, has the longest blueberry season with the earliest and latest ripening periods in China.

Prior to 2017, various regions of China were able to produce fresh blueberries from mid-March to mid-August. Now, the greenhouses in Yunnan and open-air cultivation areas in Xishuangbanna can supply fresh blueberries from mid-November until mid-July. Because February is a low month for domestic blueberry production in China, prices are highest during this time. The market price of early-ripening blueberries in Yunnan is around 120–150 yuan ($18.51–23.13) per kilogram, and the price of mid-to-late-ripening blueberries is around 50 yuan ($7.71) per kilogram.

Image: Unsplash

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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