California still has ample supplies of kiwifruit.
“We have plentiful supplies to go another two to three months,” says John Fagundes of Cal Harvest Marketing Inc. in Hanford, Ca. “I think we’ll wrap a little bit earlier though due to the good demand for California kiwis right now. But we’re right on target.”
Fagundes adds that while there are plentiful supplies of larger fruit, there is a nice spread of kiwis in a variety of sizes.
Competing with California though are imported kiwis from Greece and Italy, though those are largely destined for the East Coast. “I think some California fruit is making it all the way to the East Coast but mostly it’s limited due to the imports coming in there,” says Fagundes.
Demand is up
Meanwhile demand is very good for kiwis. “It’s better demand than last year because Italy has a smaller crop this year and they’re exporting approximately 10 percent less fruit,” says Fagundes. “I think Greece had a fairly good crop though. But people are eating more because there’s been more availability of kiwifruit. It’s moved definitely to the mainstream from specialty fruit, especially in the winter.”
Not surprisingly then, pricing is modestly above where it was last year and has remained fairly level all season.
Looking ahead, Fagundes anticipates seeing good movement on California kiwis over the next six weeks. “Then it’ll start tapering off because we’ll start seeing some Chilean imports. Normally we start seeing them in the third week of March,” he adds.