Pears from China Pt 1

Pears from China Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. Amid the challenges of the pandemic, the U.S. retail trend of “Pantry Loading of Canned Goods” helped many in the processed fruit market, like Northwest Pears.

But, BJ Thurlby, president of the Washington State Fruit Commission, says it’d be easier if they didn’t have to compete with pears from China …

THURLBY … “It’s just been the challenge almost for the last decade, but the amount pears coming in from China, literally, almost correlate over to the equivalent of one extra processor in the United States because we have so much of this import fruit.”

As for a level playing field …

THURLBY … “They don’t grow a lot of Bartlett pears but there a Ah Pear or a Snow Pear that they put into a can over in China and then they slip them here into the states.”

And, Thurlby says a lot of them …

THURBLY … “They’ve shipped this last year about 28,000 tons which is the equivalent of, really, another processor. Preferably, that would be a processor here in the United States canning those pears, but unfortunately, they’re coming in from China. And those pears actually have a 40% tariff on them.”

Thurlby says, on top of that …

THURLBY … “Here’s the scary part; even with a 40% tariff, they’re still delivering $3 or $4 bucks below what it costs us to produce them. So, it’s a real challenge for our sales groups that are marketing and selling canned fruit products and so it’s just something we’re up against.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on the processed Bartlett pear market and why it’s not all bad for the industry.

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