These are the main points emerged at the "Kiwi 2013/2014: previsioni produttive e situazione di mercato" conference that took place on Friday 3rd October at the Agri-food centre in Verona.
Bigger room for discussion was dedicated to bacteriosis and kiwi blight, which are affecting the entire province of Verona.
The speakers' table at the conference. At the centre, Elisa Macchi, director of the Cso.
After the initial greetings of Luigi Frigotto, Councillor for agriculture of the Verona province, and Damiano Berzacola, member of the board of the chamber of Verona, the president of the Consortium Fausto Bertaiola underlined how "the response to the emergency situation was correct, but unfortunately it was not enough. Resources were found thanks to the Chamber of Commerce, the Province and some municipalities that funded two support projects. Producers must collaborate more in order to tackle the situation."
Elisa Macchi, director of the Cso, then talked about production estimates, with more detailed data than those presented at Macfrut 2013.
Less cultivated areas, but not in the South
In 2013, 25 thousand hectares will be dedicated to kiwi cultivation in Italy, 2% less than 2012. It is the first year that there is a negative result.
Lazio cultivates 7,350 hectares (-2% than 2012); Piedmont 5,000 (-5%); Emilia Romagna 4,000 (-5%) and Veneto 3,700 (-6%).
In the South, in Campania but most of all in Calabria, cultivated areas increase.
Production - Piedmont back to standard levels
Definite drop in production in Veneto - only 70 thousand tons (-30% than 2012). Verona, the leading area in the province, is facing a 30% drop in yields with respect to 2012, which though is only 8% less than the 2008-2011 period.
The same goes for Emilia Romagna, as the expected production is of 70 thousand tons, -2% than 2012. The Ravenna province should end with +2% with respect to the previous year, but -2% than 2008-2011. Forlì-Cesena is similar (-3% than 2012), whereas Bologna will do better.
The situation in Lazio will vary from company to company depending on who took measures against bacteriosis. The yield is expected at 128 thousand tons (-4% than 2012).
As regards the other regions, Friuli downsized - -4% cultivated areas and -15% production. Calabria increased cultivated areas and production, but yields will be lower than last year (-25%) because of wind damage.
Campania also increased cultivated areas by 10%.
At a national level, we are talking about around 420 thousand tons (+5% than 2012) with a higher quality (better grades). 403 thousand tons will be suitable for the market, 7% more than 2012. "We still are below our potential, though," revealed the director of the Cso.
In the Northern hemisphere, Europe will produce 590,900 tons in 2013-2014, more or less the same than in 2012-2013. There have been significant drops in France (55 thousand tons, -13%) and Greece, one of our main competitors (102 thousand, -15% due to the weather). Lower productions also in California (less than 24 thousand tons, -23%) and South Korea (11,500 tons, -15%).
Exports must be strengthened
Foreign countries become more important: during the 2012-2013 campaign, sales abroad increased despite 20% less production, leading to a good average price of €1.12 per kilo.
The trend of Italian exports. Click here to enlarge the chart.
Exports in European countries decrease (Germany -8%, Spain +1%, France -15% and Poland -30%) and sales in extra-European countries also dropped by 23% (Russia -36%), whereas business is increasing in the Far East and South America.
Macchi added that our kiwis are going all over the world, but there is room for improvement and competition is important as, from 1992 to today, production increased in all producer countries and all of them export.