According to the Trade Office, China's current total litchi area is estimated to be 533,000 hectares, with Guangdong the largest litchi growing province, covering approximately 278,000 hectares and making up some 50% of the overall figure. Due to this massive area, the total litchi output for China in 2020 is expected to reach about 2.55 million tonnes, a rise of 11.3% from 2019 and similar levels to 2018's output of roughly 2.6 million tonnes.
Due to changes in weather, China has moved to begin harvesting this year's litchi crop a few weeks ahead of schedule. This is expected to take two months and will be concluded at the end of July. Meanwhile, the fruit is still being sold online by plenty of Chinese stores, with Hainan litchi being the earliest harvested fruit, followed by Guangdong, and other localities.
The Trade Office forecasts that China's litchi volume sold on the market will reach over 536,000 tonnes during May, an annual drop of 7.7%, before increasing to around 1.11 million tonnes in June, representing a rise of 115.8% on-year, before dropping to 109,000 tonnes in July, down 25.6% from last year’s corresponding period.
Most notably, as of May 9, Chinese online shopping website Taobao has focused on litchi consumption from major growing areas such as Guangdong, Hainan, Guangxi, and Fujian.
In the northern neighbour, fresh litchi often comes as a dessert or is partially dried as a jam, confectionery, medicinal herb, refreshing juice, or fermented into wine. Each year, China mainly imports fresh litchi from Asian nations such as Vietnam and Thailand.