Currently prices for all grades of pumpkin are stable largely on account of the fact that, so far at least, crop conditions look good. It is possible that, if these good conditions persist, we may see a gradual weakening of prices.
The drought conditions affecting the north west of China (mostly Gansu, Shaanxi and Ningxia provinces) are not affecting pumpkin given the fact that pumpkin is generally planted on irrigated land.
Despite the overall decline in shine skin prices since last year’s crop, the important north western Chinese provinces of Xingjiang and Inner Mongolia have both noticed an increase in plantings. This comes, however, as a surprise on the back of earlier relative price weakness which was said to have discouraged the cultivation of shine skin grades. On the other hand, GWS – which is now unusually priced at a premium to shine skin grades – is evidencing a decline in plantings. This is paradoxical given the fact that, of the two main grades, GWS has shown the greater price strength over the last few months. But the real reason behind GWS’s decline is the fact that it is not consumed by the domestic Chinese market and, instead, is sold solely for export. And meanwhile, the fact that there are still quite high stocks of shine skin pumpkin – possibly amounting to 30,000 tons - strongly suggests poor export demand from both Europe and the US, although care has to be taken in the interpretation of these figures as some Xingiang stocks (in particular) are of poor quality with illegally high pesticide levels.
If all these factors – good weather conditions, poor demand, high stocks - continue, then it is quite possible that we will see price declines for new crop shine skin. But It is still too early to be definitive about this given the fact that new crop harvesting will only start in September/October.