The apple season in New Zealand begins every year in the middle of February and continues until August or September. New Zealand apples are fragrant, sweet, and juicy. Their appearance and flavor are wonderful, and they are very popular in the market. Moreover, compared to other fruits, apples survive storage and transport quite well. When the apples arrive in the Chinese market, they are still very fresh.
"Most New Zealand apples in the Chinese markets are Gala apples. Queen apples generally arrive in May. The first New Zealand apples of the season were scheduled to arrive in China on the 23rd of February but had been delayed by more than two weeks and only arrived in early March. Fortunately, apples survive storage and transport very well, so the product quality was not affected much." This is according to Sharon Huang, CEO of Faikee Fruit Limited.
"The weather conditions were excellent this season, so the product quality of the apples that arrived in China is quite good, even better than last season. As for the price, the average cost price of production and distribution went up, which increased the cost price of apples. However, when the apples arrived, several outbreaks of Covid-19 created obstacles to product movement, and that caused the price of apples to drop. The retail price of the first Taylor apples of the season was around 350-360 yuan [53.83-55.37 USD] per box of 18 kg. Subsequent Taylor apples were around 310-320 yuan [47.68-49.22 USD] per box. The price of Taylor apples is quite good and resistant to negative fluctuations. Many other apple brands have already dropped their prices to around 200 yuan [30.76 USD] per box. The Chinese market normally experiences a peak period of sales around Tomb-Sweeping Day [5 April], but this year product movement was less than ideal."
Sharon explained new developments for New Zealand apple varieties: "New Zealand introduced a new apple variety, the Sassy apple. This early-season variety is already available on the Chinese market. The Sassy apple is a hybrid of Jazz, Fuji, and Pacific Rose apples. The outside is a bright and glossy red. The flavor is fragrant and sweet, and the apple is crisp. Moreover, the fruit peel is full of natural anthocyanidins.
"The supply volume is still rather small, and the price is around 320-330 [49.22-50.76 USD] per box. We have always said that production areas need to improve and introduce new apple varieties continuously. Take the Taylor brand as an example; they introduced their new Taylor "King" apple variety. The apple is sweet and firm. Every single bite is full of sweet flavor. Moreover, the Taylor King apple looks nicer than the Gala apples that enter the market around the same time. King Apple received great consumer feedback when they entered the market last year, and product movement was smooth. This year the King apples arrived a bit later."