An expert described the situation of Italian kiwi stocks: "Product sales started to slow slightly in the last ten days of February, therefore, the desired acceleration in March did not take place".
The stocks of Italian Hayward kiwis on 31 March 2019 were 16-17% higher than on the same date in 2018. The volumes stored are still 20% lower than the average of recent years.
What happened? According to the expert: "The reasons for the slowdown are many. In my opinion, on a descending scale:
1) The European market faced strong pressure from the green kiwi of Greece, due to its greater availability in the same period of the season. Greece had made fewer overseas shipments up until February, and its conservation techniques improved a lot, even only compared to 3-4 years ago.
2) The pressure from other very cheap products (European apples - Benelux pears) in Europe.
3) The economic situation does not help consumption (even in the Italian internal market).
4) A growing appreciation for the yellow kiwi, still present on the market in decent quantities until mid-March 2019.
The operator underlines: "This is why, following slowdown in the supply of kiwis from Greece, the demand for Italian kiwis is beginning to show signs of improvement. Of course, this caused the "loss" of about 3 weeks of good marketing and has flattened the prices. The increase that was hoped for in March has not arrived, despite the "low" levels recorded since November in relation to a limited total quantity.
According to the expert: "I do not think there is cause for alarm. We're still facing the entire pre-Easter period, which should drive demand, especially in the Italian market".
At the moment, prices for larger-sized kiwis are about 0.50-0.60 €/kg lower than the same period in 2018 and 0.30-0.40 €/kg lower than in 2017. The hopes were certainly for better.
The expert concludes: "Good preservation of the product will be fundamental because the marketing abroad will last until the first week of June, while - especially for structured companies - the Italian market will remain active until the 25th week or so".