A day after Shanghai's stock market reached a record high, it tumbled 8.8 percent on Tuesday, causing knee-jerk reactions in both the American and European financial markets. While Chinese newspapers are eager to write it off as a response to impending increases in interest rates or a reduction in lending money, a few economists of questionable merit are wondering if there isn't an alternate cause.
Late February, as we all know, marks the end of clementine season. While Americans are particularly fond of the small, orange fruit, it is well established that clementines represent 28% of chinese imports. Clementines are, of course, generally preferred over similar citrus fruits because of their thick, easy-to-peel skin. Women also find them "cute." They are, however, highly price-inelastic and the decreased supply represents a blight to the average Wang Q. Public.
Economists expect the Chinese market to return to normal levels over the coming months, however, as Chinese consumers turn to clementine substitutes. Quoting one Chinese man, "I may even purchase a mango."