Italy: Large quantities of kiwis imported from Greece

The lower green kiwi production at the national level is affecting commercial exchanges between Italy and Greece. According to an Italian operator, "production is lower than reported by official estimates. Fruits, especially those from Lazio, are medium-small, which favours imports from Greece directed towards both the European market and overseas."

According to the expert, the sale of green kiwis during the 2017/18 season started early (with produce from Greece and Calabria destined mainly overseas) as harvesting in other areas (northern Italy and Lazio) was slightly late due to the weather conditions.

"In October and November, demand exceeded supply on the European and global market (due to the lack of produce from Chile and the availability of fruit from New Zealand at a high price). Italian and Greek kiwis benefited from it thanks to the early sales at higher prices."

Demand is stable at the moment and is requiring mostly big grades (due to the lack of them both in Italy and Greece), which sell at a much higher price than medium-small ones.

"The entire world is requiring larger grades compared to a few years ago. This also applies to the Zespri supply between May and November. In Europe, we are witnessing a decrease in the weight of units sold: from 1 kg packets to 500-750-800 gram packets for green kiwis or set fruit quantities (3-4-5 per packet) for both green and yellow kiwis."

Destocking was good in Italy during October and November. "This means Hayward stocks are similar to what they used to be 40 days from now during the previous season. This information generates a sort of optimism for sales between mid-February and the end of the season with possible price increases."

As regards golden kiwis, volumes are rather low and grades aren't excellent. "Demand was good already in early October, though, especially for the produce from overseas (as the last quantities of Zespri Gold were still available on the market). The Asian market appreciates big grades while north America tends to prefer medium ones. Very few Soreli golden kiwis remain available, while the season of Jintao is in full swing."

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