NZ: At last a good year for top fruit exports

NZ: At last a good year for top fruit exports

NZ top fruit growers are anticipating the best season for five years. Though there are still large volumes of fruit to clear New Zealand grown apples and pears have been fetching good prices in international markets. This has been driven by tow main forces – one being a shortage of competition from other countries this season and the other, growth in the Asian markets.

Just recently the NZ dollar has weakened slightly, which is likely  to be an additional bonus for those still awaiting payment.

Things are certainly looking better than they were a few years ago when the industry appeared to be in real trouble after suffering three years of losses on the run.

Turners &Growers’ global marketing manager, Rosstan Mazey, said growers could expect $ 24 to $ 25 a carton for jazz apples this year, up $ 4 to $ 5 on last year.

“We were very clear that we needed to improve returns for jazz, and there has been a huge effort to keep the market strong and hold the price up.”

Jazz sales had started very strongly in Europe, helped by a largely empty market and excellent fruit quality, he said. The long, dry summer had produced fruit with high brix levels.

Envy, a sweeter variety aimed more at Asian markets, was also selling well, achieving record prices, Mr Mazey said. Returns were expected to average $ 32 to $ 34 a carton.

However, some are pointing out that the bad run in previous years means that more than one good season is needed to put growers back on track.

Pipfruit NZ spokesman Gary Jones said that while growers were feeling a lot happier now that they were getting reasonable returns from almost all markets, the key was to repeat this season after season.


Publication date: 7/9/2013