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France: Same volume in kiwi but low European supply raises prices

With lower stock volumes from Southern Hemisphere kiwifruit remaining in France this season, the volume of kiwifruit is lower than in previous years. With such quantities, prices will be certainly higher than in previous years.

Prim'land, France's leading kiwifruit producer, is about a week away from finishing this season's harvest, and despite low volume for the country overall, Jean-Baptiste Pinel, director for Prim'land, noted that they'll have adequate supplies this season.

“We will have about 15,000 tons of kiwifruit this year,” he said. “That's slightly low, but it's about what we had last year.” He added that they've taken on new growers this year, so that should help add volume going forward.

Overall supplies have been lower this year than in previous years, which is something Pinel attributes to the relatively low quantities of kiwifruit that are coming from Italy. Though the French climate gives fruit grown there different characteristics than Italian varieties, lower volume will certainly affect the price of domestic supplies.

“There are about 380.000T tons coming in from Italy this year, and that's quite low compared with last year 450.000T,” said Pinel. That low volume, naturally, will result we hope in prices that have been higher than in previous seasons. Prices, however, have not dampened demand from overseas. Though Pinel admitted that French kiwifruit is not exported in some country very competitive, fully one-third of their sales come from overseas clients – something for which he credits the qualities of French fruit that come from the surrounding climate.

“The climate is mild and humid, and that gives the fruit a good brix level and good taste,” he said. “So we have a lot of countries that want New Zealand kiwifruit when it's in season, and then they switch to French kiwifruit afterward because it's the same kind of product.”

With good prices and adequate volume, Pinel noted that they're poised for a good season.

“We're reaching the end of harvest, and so far, volume will be the same as last season,” he said. “So it will be a good year for us.”

Harvesting is expected to continue through November 20 and availability will likely run through the middle of May.

For more information:
Jean-Baptiste Pinel
Tel: +33 5 58 90 09 95

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