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How mushroom business in China grows 2022-2024. Qihe Biotech prepared a report for UMDIS readers


This post is also available in: English Russian Polish

On the eve of International Mushroom Days in China on April 20-25, the UMDIS agency is publishing an article about the Chinese market by one of our partners.

UMDIS Mushroom Agency asked Qihe Biotech – the large Chineese substrate supplier – to tell us how mushroom business grew in China in the last year.

Below is the article by Mr ZHANG Lujun

We are Qihe Biotech, an edible fungi provider with a headquarter in Shandong Province, China. We started producing and exporting shiitake substrates and mushrooms since 2000, now our business is around the world. By building mushroom production bases in North Africa, Europe, Australia and Asia, we are able to sell mushrooms cultivated on Chinese substrates there. And we have been keeping a close eye on Chinese and world mushroom industries for these over 20 years.

China enjoys the fastest growth rate in the world’s edible fungi production industry. In 2022, its annual total output jumped to 42 million tons from that of 22 million in 2010, almost a double. With a wide variety of artificially cultivated species as a feature, China has over 350 of the around world-known 2,000 species. 50 species are artificially cultivated at large scales, among which 23 have annual outputs of more than 100,000 tons.

In recent years, with the upgrade of cultivation techniques and selection of suitable selected varieties, many species that could not be artificially cultivated before are gradually broken through, such as porcini, morels, cordyceps and bamboo fungi. In 2023 particularly, types and production of exotic mushrooms cultivated in China increases again, the yield growth of certain species goes up by over 5% year on year including Lyophyllum decastesOudemansiella raphanipiesPleurotus geesteranusBoletusn sp.Dictyophora rubrumAuricularia polytrichaGanoderma lucidumAgaricus blazeiStropharia rugoso and straw mushroom. Many Chinese companies are unsatisfied with a single type mushroom production, so they have tried hard to enhance their product varieties and cultivation forms. For example, the realization of bed frame cultivation of Dictyophora spp. and frame cultivation of straw mushrooms would facilitate the mechanized production in factories.

In short, we believe that China’s edible fungi will still be one of the most dynamic in the world in 2023. More innovation would be achieved in developing new types and cultivation forms so that more options are provided to global consumers.

In the past year, China’s edible fungi industry still operates in a traditional farmer-dominated production model with low concentration ratio. This would continue in 2024. However, with the labor shortage and rising labor costs, the degree of factorization in China’s edible fungi industry would constantly increase. The statistics from China Edible Fungi Association shows that during 2016-2020, this factorization ratio has increased from 7.15% in 2016 to 9.7% in 2020. And this proportion continues to grow in 2023.

Take shiitake mushrooms, accounting for the highest proportion of China’s total edible fungi production (more than 30%) as an example. Qihe Biotech raised the curtain of factory production of shiitake mushroom substrates by investing the first smart factory in 2000, in which substrate are produced in a full mechanized manner. By 2023, 4 smart factories of Qihe Biotech are put into production, producing 200 million artificial logs annually with 50% less labors. Following Qihe Biotech, many similar factories are established across China. In 2024, this trend would continue and more than 3 shiitake mushroom factories are known under planning.

The new factories at higher informationalized and intelligentized level are able to enhance their operation efficiency and assist production decision making in mushroom growth management, production management, process optimization and problem diagnosis by developing smart control systems.

In addition, Chinese edible fungi companies would pay more attention to branding in the future. 2024 would see more leading Chinese edible fungi companies starting their global branding layout. For example, Qihe Biotech would promote its registered brand “Seven Rivers” in North American and Europe and sell its dried and fresh mushrooms as well as deep-processing products there.

In conclusion, we believe that China’s mushroom industry would continue an integration process, from traditional farmer production to factory production with companies as major players. Managers would attach more importance to mechanization and intelligentization.

These companies would start global branding processes to introduce various Chinese special mushrooms to global consumers.

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