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Italy: Value of kiwi exports continue to grow

The Italian kiwi season has just started. IKO (International Kiwifruit Organisation) data will help us understand what can be expected.

The good news is that prices of exported produce are quite high thanks to the high quality of the fruit. In the last two export campaigns, the value of exports grew more than the volume.

During the last campaign (October 2013-May 2014), for example, Italian kiwi exports increased by 1% reaching 316,000 tons. In terms of value, we are talking about €400 million, +11% with respect to the previous campaign. This was mostly due to an average price of €1.22/kg, 10% higher than the previous campaign.

Italian kiwi exports from October 2013 to May 2014 in comparison with the previous seasons (source: CSO processing of Istat data). Click here to enlarge.

In the last two campaigns abroad, prices always remained above €1/kg - monthly prices started well and increased from February onwards.

Export price trend (source: CSO processing of Istat data). Click here to enlarge.

The best Italian client is struggling
Of course we are talking about Germany, which imported 52,300 tons of Italian kiwis in the last season, 3,500 less than 2012/13. Exports to the country have been decreasing for the past six years, so actually the total drop over six seasons was of 15,000 tons. Almost 68,000 tons were shipped in 2008/09 and 72,000 during the following season. The situation must therefore be kept under control, especially considering the fierce competition from France and Spain. 

Export trends to European countries (source: CSO processing of Istat data). Click here to enlarge.

The two sides of Spain
For Italy, Spain is the second destination market. Internal production has grown, yet imports from Italy have also increased from 39,500 tons to almost 42,500. This though happened after a constant significant drop during previous years, as can be seen in the chart below.

Import trend in Spain per country of origin (source: Eurostat)

The fight over France
This is the fourth destination for Italian kiwis: demand is increasing (21,207 tons exported in 2013/14 with respect to the 20,550 of the previous campaign). Italy is still the main supplier, but the market share dropped below 40% due to competition from Spain and Greece. In addition, domestic productivity should also increase (+7%).

The thorn in the side and the Russian ban
This is what Greece might turn out to be, and that is why production estimates talking about a +32% are quite scary.

This figure is even scarier if we think that the first export market for Greece was Russia, to which 22,915 tons were exported in 2013/14 and 32,651 the season before that. Now though, that market is off limits and these volumes must be reallocated elsewhere.

Italian exports to extra-European countries, Africa, Middle East and Oceania (source: CSO processing of Istat data). Click here to enlarge.

Outside of Europe
The most interesting news come from the extra-European market. Shipped imports to the US and Canada are increasing and the Italian market share has now reached 10%. Last year, 1,400 tons more were exported to North America with respect to the previous year.

The Asian boom
If we talk about the Far East, we can see how Italian kiwis are much appreciated, especially if we consider that, last year, 50% more produce was exported (from 13,659 tons of 2012/13 to 20,511 tons).

Things are actually even better in China as, in only one year, it went from importing 3,800 tons to 10,000, i.e. recording a +159%. 

Italian exports to North and South America and to the Far East (source: CSO processing of Istat data).
 Click here to enlarge.