Although there were early indications pointing to a near-record New Zealand apple crop in 2020/2021, a number of factors has tempered expectations. Production is now estimated to have slumped 8 percent from the previous year to 543,000 tons.
Two of these factors have been hailstorms that have caused widespread damage in key apple areas, as well as generally smaller-sized apples this year due to a cooler summer.
In addition to reduced production, the impact on exports is being exacerbated by severe staffing shortages during the harvest. Because of these shortages, orchardists were not able to do the number of harvest picks in each orchard block necessary to maximize the proportion of export quality fruit. As a result, more New Zealand apples are expected to flow into processing this year.
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