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Pipfruit New Zealand says this year’s crop of 16.9 million 18kg cartons is a “relatively modest volume and comprises the most balanced crop we have had in many seasons”.
Announcing the official apple and pear export crop estimate to industry leaders in Hawke’s Bay, chief executive Alan Pollard says the more balanced crop comes from significant new plantings that are now in production.
“The New Zealand apple basket is very diverse now and has much wider global appeal,” he says. For several years, the industry has been working to reduce its traditional reliance on Braeburn and to focus on varieties that have more appeal particularly in Asia.
“All of our newer varieties are up in volume which is extremely positive”, Mr Pollard says. “Braeburn plantings continue to reduce, with this year’s forecast Braeburn crop at 3.4 million cartons the lowest on record.”
Summer conditions have been perfect in apple growing areas.
“New Zealand’s reputation as a reliable supplier of high quality, well coloured, safe apples and pears enables us to command premium prices in all markets,” he says. “This year will be no different, with exporters already receiving good levels of inquiry from Asia, Europe and North America.”
Supply to developing markets has increased from 33% of total export volumes in 2011 to 40% last year. Again the largest percentage of this year’s export volume will come from Hawke’s Bay, which will supply 61% of the crop (or 10.4 million cartons).
Nelson is expected to export 5.2 million cartons, or 31% of the total export volume, Central Otago 0.65 million cartons (4%) and the remaining regions (primarily Waikato, Gisborne and Wairarapa) 0.7 million cartons (4%).