According to customs statistics, in 2021, China’s total imports of raw coconuts (coconuts without the inner shell) will increase by 37.4% year-on-year to 872,000 tons. In 2019 and 2020, this figure was 659,000 tons and 634,000 tons respectively; the total import value increased by 53% year-on-year to 452 million US dollars.
From the perspective of importing countries, it is mainly concentrated in Thailand and Indonesia. In 2021, the sum of the total import scale of Chinese raw coconuts from Thailand and Indonesia will account for more than 80% of the overall import scale. The unit price of raw coconut imported from Thailand is relatively high, at US$0.85 per kilogram, which is higher than that of Indonesia at US$0.31 per kilogram; in terms of growth rate, in 2021, the unit price of raw coconut imported from Thailand will increase by about 10% year-on-year, while the unit price of imported coconuts from Indonesia will increase 18%.
The rise in raw coconut imports is directly related to the popularity of raw coconut drinks last year.
According to incomplete statistics, in the first half of 2021, more than 130 coconut-flavored beverages will be launched. Only five brands of HEYTEA, Naixue’s tea, Lelecha, Luckin Coffee, and KFC have launched more than 20 coconut-flavored products. .
Luckin has launched raw coconut latte since April 12 last year, which is often sold out. By June 30, the monthly sales of raw coconut series products exceeded 10 million cups, setting a new sales record for its new products. Nai Xue’s tea has also claimed that the new product Domineering Hao Ye has sold more than 100,000 cups in 3 days.
Fino, a local brand that provides thick coconut milk for coffee and tea brands, will also “out of the circle” in 2021. Its core business is oriented to the B-side, and in Shanghai Fino has entered nearly 600 offline cafes; on the e-commerce platform, under the recommendation of live broadcasters and celebrity live broadcasts, the brand’s single live broadcast sales exceeded 5. Ten thousand.
The popularity of raw coconut drinks has once again verified that product iteration and innovation are the main competitiveness of coffee and tea brands to attract customers. The logic of new product development is often carried out around two aspects, relying on seasonal fruits or bases.
According to the “2021 China New Tea Products Report”, among the 21 tea brands sampled in the survey, 95.2% of the new fruit tea brands will be launched in 2020. In 2021, fruit tea will still be the main theme of the new product layout of new tea brands.
Coconuts belong to the four seasons. July-August is the high-yielding season, September-January is the second-yielding season, and February-June is the season with the lowest yield, but it can be bought all year round, not a “seasonal season” limited fruit”. Compared with other niche fruits, coconut production is relatively stable.
The health, natural, green and other labels of coconut are also easy to attract consumers. In addition, this is a fruit that does not require market education, can fully meet the needs of the public and the principle of market universality, and has a high degree of compatibility with a variety of tea, coffee, other fruits or sparkling water and other materials.
However, judging from the current supply of coconuts in the Chinese coconut market, it is still very dependent on imports.
According to the “2020-2025 China Coconut Juice Industry In-depth Research and Investment Prospect Forecast Research Report” by the China Research Institute, the demand for coconut fruit in China is as high as 2.6 billion per year, while Hainan Province only produces about 250 million coconut fruit per year, and the processing demand reaches 2.6 billion. There are 150 million coconuts, and there is a large gap in processing demand. 50% of coconuts are imported from Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and other countries.
According to a set of data provided by Yang Yaodong, a researcher at the Coconut Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, to Jiemian News, the coconut planting area in Hainan Province is less than 600,000 mu, accounting for 99% of the country’s total, but less than 10% of the world’s total. Hainan’s local coconuts mainly supply tourism and fresh fruit markets, and more than 90% of the raw materials of the coconut processing industry need to be imported.
Zhao Bo, chairman of Coconut Group, also said that Coconut Group needs to consume 200 million to 220 million coconuts every year, of which coconuts imported from Southeast Asian countries account for 90%-95%.
This means that if there are uncontrollable factors in the international market, China’s imported coconuts are easily affected by “stuck necks”, and the coconut-related industrial chain will also encounter bottlenecks.
Taking 2020, which was severely impacted by the epidemic, as an example, the import volume has decreased compared with 2019. Due to the extended shipping period for coconut imports (it originally took 16 days to export coconuts from Indonesia to Hainan, now the shipping period is as long as one month), during the transportation process. The breakage rate of coconuts is greatly increased, which also increases the cost of coconut enterprises invisibly.
The imbalance between supply and demand in the market can also easily lead to price fluctuations. Since last year, the price of coconuts has been rising, and even the price of coconuts in Hainan has risen. According to public reports, since July last year, the price of Hainan coconut green has ushered in a large increase. In the past, the “landing price” of green coconuts rose to 4.5 RMB per piece, and the chain reaction also occurred in wholesale, retail and other links. In the retail market, the price of a green coconut reaches 10-12 RMB.
In addition, coconut covers a large area for growing, traditional breeding cycle is long (it takes 15-20 years to cultivate a new variety), and the land area of ??Hainan Island is limited, resulting in small coconut planting area and low yield. The processing industry is faced with a shortage of raw materials and needs to rely on Importing a large amount of raw materials from abroad for production has led to a long-term situation of poor economic benefits of coconuts in China.
Regarding how to solve the problem of “stuck neck”, Yang Yaodong’s opinion is that, first of all, it is necessary to increase the planting area and adjust the planting structure; secondly, it is necessary to encourage local enterprises to “go out”, for example, go to Southeast Asian countries to establish coconut planting bases and primary processing factories to solve the dilemma of lack of domestic raw materials; in addition, the development of the coconut industry is inseparable from the support of science and technology, and the establishment of an industrial technology system to support the development of the coconut industry is the most urgent problem for the domestic coconut industry at present.