One step closer to China

Exports drive significant growth in New Zealand avocado industry

The value of the New Zealand avocado industry increased significantly over the past year, on the back of strong export growth.

The total value reached $200.3 million in 2016-17, which was up from $133.9 million the previous year. Exports were valued at $155.5 million, up from $91.4 million, while the processing market more than doubled from $2.1 million to $4.5 million.

7.8 million 5.5kg trays were produced (43,375 tonnes), with 4.7 million trays exported, and 2.1 million supplying the New Zealand domestic market. Both volumes were just under double from the previous year, while the processing market nearly tripled from 379,890 to 963,794.

CEO of NZ Avocado Jen Scoular has confirmed it was a terrific year of growth in volume and value for the industry.

“Under the NZ Avocado primary growth partnership, we set our industry audacious goals to quadruple sales and triple productivity," she said. "The results in 2016-17 have gone a long way towards demonstrating that those goals are realistic. The industry is working strongly together, allowing growth in volume and value right across the value chain."

Australia remained the top destination for the NZ avocados, with 3.9 million trays being sent across the Tasman Sea, which accounted for more than what remained in New Zealand, with nearly 2.2 million tray supplying the domestic market. Japan was the top Asian market, followed by Korea, Singapore and Thailand.

The Bay of Plenty is the country's top producing region. Despite the hectares only increasing marginally, volumes more than doubled on the previous year, jumping from 1.5 million trays to more than 3.1 million. The Mid North also had a substantial improvement, with volumes increasing from 292,000 to 814,000. However, the figure was slightly down on 2014-15. The Far North has remained more consistent, with slight increases each year, to a total of 695,000 trays in 2016-17, with its biggest growing area of 539 hectares.

The Average Yield was also at an all-time high with 11.5 tonnes, significantly higher than the previous year and a 0.2 tonne climb from 2014-15. Demand for avocados in New Zealand continues to grow, consuming a record 1.9 million trays of avocados last season.

"We do have a wonderful tail wind of a fantastic demand for the amazing avocado, with consumers loving the wonderful health attributes and versatility of an avocado" Ms Scoular said. "That is being supported by the insatiable appetite for consumers to post and share photos of avocados on social media.“

Meanwhile, New Zealand is a significant step closer towards supplying fresh avocados to Chinese consumers and opening up access to a brand new market, after a series of successful technical discussions, and the negotiation and signing of a protocol to agree export requirements for avocados. Ms Scoular says China is expected to be a significant market for New Zealand avocados.
“China is very aware of the significant global increase in avocado consumption, the associated health benefits and the strong growth and huge potential in the avocado category,” says New Zealand Avocado Chief Executive Jen Scoular. "Our conversations with Chinese importers show there will be strong interest in New Zealand avocados.”

The next step before trade commences is an audit of New Zealand’s regulatory system for exporting avocados by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) in mid-December 2017.

For more information:
Jen Scoular
NZ Avocado
+64 7 571 6147

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