New Zealand Kiwifruit Export Programme Now Complete

Media Release - 21 December 2009

ZESPRI’s final shipments of New Zealand Kiwifruit have now been completed, signalling the end of a successful export season for the New Zealand Kiwifruit industry.

ZESPRI General Manager Supply Chain, Sally Gardiner, said that the New Zealand Kiwifruit industry has exported 99.8 million trays of ZESPRI® Kiwifruit (approximately 3.3 billion single pieces of kiwifruit) using 59 charter vessels and 5,616 containers this season. In the December Forecast grower returns are set to increase by NZ$46.8 million to $825.8 million, when compared with last year. “This is a strong result in a very challenging economic environment,” said Sally.

“ZESPRI growers have delivered fruit to meet the premium quality requirements of our international customers, and our post-harvest partners have reacted flexibly in an ever-changing market environment to ensure that fruit is delivered on time, in full, and to specification (DIFOTIS). In fact, this year is the first time ever that our suppliers have exceeded targets set for delivery, achieving DIFOTIS targets of 90 percent or better.”

The Hamburg Sud vessel ‘Cap Manuel’ departed the Port of Tauranga, bound for China, on Thursday 3 December 2009 with the final container shipments of New Zealand ZESPRI® Kiwifruit on board for the 2009 Season. The vessel is scheduled to arrive at the Shanghai and Nansha ports this week.

ZESPRI Shipping Manager, Mike Knowles, commented that this year has seen a unified effort by the industry. “This year we started the shipping season earlier than ever before with a week 12 (22 March) shipment of ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit to Japan. We then managed to secure our largest ever below-deck shipment of ZESPRI® Kiwifruit aboard the Sunbelt Spirit carcarrier in April and loading records were broken at the Port of Tauranga in July. It’s a credit to the whole industry that it has been able to supply such a high volume of export quality fruit again this season,’’ he said.

Sally Gardiner said all New Zealand ZESPRI® Kiwifruit had been shipped and 97 percent has been sold across all varieties and markets. As the New Zealand selling season draws to a close, ZESPRI has recently commenced its Northern Hemisphere selling programme which will run through until March 2010.

ZESPRI General Manager Global Supply, Simon Limmer, said: “ZESPRI is now focused on selling high quality ZESPRI® GOLD and GREEN Kiwifruit grown in the Northern hemisphere, which further strengthens the ZESPRI® Brand and helps secure retail shelf-space for 12 months of the year with key customers in Europe, Japan and East Asia.”

In Europe, around 2.2 million trays of ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit are expected from Italy for allocation in Europe and an additional 1.2 million trays to Asia. This volume represents a 2 percent increase on last year’s production volume. Approximately 138,000 trays of ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit are expected to be procured from France this season which is an increase of more than 100 percent on last year’s 67,000 trays. In addition, approximately 4.5 million trays of ZESPRI® GREEN Kiwifruit, sourced to ZESPRI’s quality standards, will be available from Italy and France.

In Asia, 600,000 trays of ZESPRI® GOLD Class 1 Kiwifruit are expected to be procured from Korea, and approximately 490,000 trays of ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit are expected from Japan.

The duration of the Northern Hemisphere supply season is from harvest and packing in late October to end of November/early December, through to the end of the sales season in early 2010.

December Forecast Holds Steady

The latest New Zealand industry forecast depicts a $46.8 million (or $0.50 per tray) increase in fruit and service payments to growers, when compared with the 2008/09 season, with minimal change from the forecast released in October. This represents a solid forecast in a selling season categorised by uncertainty and financial pressure, and can be attributed to a collaborative industry effort to maintain quality and delivery standards, and a strong in-market advertising and promotional effort.

The particularly strong result for ZESPRI® GOLD Kiwifruit reflects the strong market pricing due to demand exceeding supply, and positive impacts from the Yen/Kiwi exchange rate, given a high portion of the GOLD crop is sold in Japan.

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