The New Zealand harvest of early varieties started in late January and they are now into the full harvest cycle.
"Our crop estimate predicts a gross crop 5% up on last year at around 600,000 metric tonnes, with the export share of that at 409,000 metric tonnes (22.7m 18kg cartons) or 3% up on last year. Overall, size is slightly up on last year," said Alan Pollard Chief Executive, New Zealand Apples and Pears.
It has been a dry year in New Zealand but Alan is not aware of any significant impact of the dry weather on the apple crop.
"We have only just started shipping and early indications are that our markets are eagerly anticipating the arrival of our fruit this year. We have a watching brief on the impact of the Corona Virus, both in terms of access to markets and also shipping logistics.
"We are following closely the progress of the Green Deal in Europe. New Zealand continues to negotiate an FTA with the EU. Braeburn volumes from New Zealand to Europe/UK continues to decline, with this year’s Braeburn estimate 1m cartons or 30% down on 2018."
Volumes of New Zealand apples to India have varied over the years, peaking at 26,000 metric tonnes in 2018. Last year 17,000 metric tonnes were sent. There is a 50% tariff for apples into India. Alan sees an opportunity to grow exports to India in the future.
"For the first time, in 2019 over 50% of our fruit went to Asia. Asia, the Middle East and Africa offer future opportunities for us."
For more information:
Apples and Pears New Zealand
Tel: +64 (21) 576 109