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China - Many cherries in Yantai split because of excessive rainfall

This is the time of year when Yantai harvests open-field cherries. However, excessive rainfall this year has caused many cherries to split open. Some of the orchard owners report as many as 70%-80% of their cherries have been affected. The overall product quality is greatly reduced this year, and the market price naturally dropped to a new low point.

“A period of excessive rainfall engulfed Yantai on the 3rd of June. That was on the even of the harvest season of Early Beauty cherries. The poor weather conditions had a terrible impact on the condition of Early Beauty cherries in Yantai. The damage to the Yantai cherry industry was severe because Early Beauty cherries cover much of the overall surface area devoted to cherry plantation in Yantai. Furthermore, Early Beauty cherries easily split open, and the poor weather conditions came at just the wrong time.” This is according to Mr. Wang Gangchun of Yantai City Muping District Lufeng Agricultural Plantation Co., Ltd.

The price of Chinese cherries has been relatively low this year for a number of reasons. Some of the first cherries on the market were the cherries from Tai’an in Shandong. The price of Tai’an Red Lantern cherries was only around 2-3 yuan [0.31-0.47 USD] per 0.5 kg. That price shaped the market conditions for Yantai cherries when they entered the Chinese market somewhat later. The current market price of Yantai cherries has reached a historical low point.

According to Mr. Wang: “The conditions in our orchard were better than in other orchards. About 50%-60% of our cherries split open. That is mainly because we take preventative measures against heavy rainfall. And we take out the split cherries to guarantee product quality. This year our online sales account for 40% of our retail volume. Our price is still alright. The ratio of glasshouse cherries is relatively low in Yantai because glasshouse plantation requires significant investment, and cherry growers have to be willing to take that risk.”

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