The pomegranates of Zaozhuang enter the ripening season in October, and farmers have entered the busiest season of the year. The price of many traditional pomegranate varieties is relatively low this year. The price of top-quality pomegranates is only 7-8 yuan [1.01-1.15 USD] per kg, which is lower than the price of 10-12 yuan [1.44-1.73 USD] per kg last year.
The production this year is recovering from previous cold weather and frost. Many of the newly planted smaller trees have not yet reached peak production. The overall production level in pomegranate orchards is around 60% of regular production. Not only is the production recovering, but there is an obvious price difference in comparison with previous years. In particular for top-quality fruit which only sells at 8 yuan [1.15 USD] per kg, while the price of some poor-quality pomegranates dropped to 1-2 yuan [0.14-0.29 USD] per kg. Some of the smaller pomegranates sell at 3-4 yuan [0.43-0.58 USD] per kg. The ratio of poor-quality fruit is high this year.
Industry analysts state that the pomegranate harvest season started around Mid-Autumn Festival [September 24th], but this year the summer temperatures were extremely high, which influenced the development of fruit trees. Some pomegranate varieties began maturing 10 days later than normal, completely missing the festive period around Mid-Autumn Festival and the National Day holiday period.
The Maya pomegranate variety suffered from black seeds because of the high summer temperatures. This reduced their edibility and forced the purchase price down. Some of the pomegranate varieties will not be ripe before Double Eleven [November 11th], but demand is growing.
Source: Zaozhuang News Online