The global lychee market is projected to witness a CAGR 3.5% during the forecast period (2021-2026). The year 2020 was not very promising for the lychee farmers around the world. Due to the prolonged lockdown around the world, the farmers were not able to market their produce, resulting in losses for the farmers.
Owing to the increasing demand for fresh produce in the emerging and developing nations worldwide and rising trade from the major producers and favorable government initiatives in the major producing countries is driving the growth of the market.
At the end of 2019, Vietnam entered into an agreement with the lychee farmers for the export of lychees to the Japan. However, the pandemic trade restrictions posed as a major roadblock for the exports from Vietnam. The substantial unprecedented disruption in the functioning of both the market forces of demand and supply posed as hurdles for all stakeholders, including consumers in the market studied.
China is a major producer and an exporter, accounting for a major market share of lychee exports across the world. According to ITC Trade Map, the total fresh lychee export from China was worth USD 53.2 million in 2020. Europe and the United States are the major markets for lychee exports from China. The European consumers consider lychee a ’sweet, nutritious’ super fruit. and larger volumes of litchi are imported every year. With the rising demand for healthy food in these markets, the export of lychee has considerably increased over the years. According to data from the General Administration Customs China (GACC), Guangdong province exported 5,902.1 metric ton of lychee in 2020, showing an increase of 72.3%, in comparison to 2019. Lychee from Madagascar occupies a strong position in the European market. Hence, the rising demand and the favorable government support are expected to boost the market growth of the market significantly in the coming years.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Demand from International Markets
Lychee is primarily produced in China and India. According to the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), in 2018-2019, Southeast Asian countries accounted for 19% of the global lychee market. Madagascar accounted for 35% of the global exports, followed by Vietnam and China, with 19% and 18%, respectively.
Based on the figures from ITC TradeMap, the total export value of lychee from China in 2019 was USD 25,313 thousand, which doubled in the year 2020, reaching USD 53,195 thousand. The major importing countries from China are Hong Kong, Malaysia, and the United States, which reported a significant increase in the import value from 2019 to 2020, reaching USD 17,032 thousand, USD 9,287 thousand, and USD 6,173 thousand, respectively.
According to data from Guangdong Province’s Agricultural and Rural Department, Guangdong, which accounts for over one-third of the global planting area, witnessed a heavy harvest in 2020. The export increased substantially. By June 2020, the Guangdong province exported around 4,000 metric ton of lychee, leading to a 20% year-on-year increase. According to the Center for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI), the total size of the European lychee import market is estimated to be between 20,000 and 25,000 metric ton per year. Madagascar is by far the largest supplier of lychee to Europe, with 15.5 thousand metric ton of exotic fruit (mostly litchi) in 2017. In European countries, France is a major exporter, accounting for a larger share in the lychee imports. The rising demand for lychee in France and other EU countries is expected to boost the litchi imports further in the coming years. Thus, the demand for lychee in many countries is increasing tremendously with each passing year. The exports to international markets, along with the domestic consumption, are expected to grow in the forecast period.
Consistent growth in Indian Market
Lychee is one of the prominent fruits grown in the India. Due to the increasing demand, the production and the area of cultivation are facing inclining trend from 2016. According to horticulture statistics, India, in 2016, the area of cultivation under lychee was 90,000 hectares, and it increased to 96,000 hectares by 2019. Similarly, lychee production was at 559,000.0 metric ton in 2016, and it increased to 721,000.0 metric ton by 2019.
Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, and Assam are the major lychee producing states in the country. In 2019, Bihar accounted for around 65% of the total country’s production, followed by Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, and Assam, respectively. Shahi lychee is one of the most cultivated varieties of lychee in the major lychee producing states in India.
In India, the government and private companies has been taking initiatives to boost more value addition, exports, and value realization of farmers. For instance, in 2020, Coca-Cola India, DeHaat, National Research on Litchi (NRCL), and Kedia fresh partner launched an initiative called Unnati Litchi. The initiative is aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the agri value chain and farmers’ capability building on high-density plantation, farmer training for good agriculture practices (GAP), and the creation of demo orchards through appropriate technology interventions. Thus, the aforementioned factors are driving the market studied, which is anticipated to grow during the forecast period.
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