The southern hemisphere kiwifruit season has finished earlier than usual due to a lower production, and this is leading to an earlier than usual start for the northern hemisphere season, with premature harvesting, even though the fruit doesn't yet have the most desirable commercial quality. The lower production in almost all northern hemisphere producing countries points to a season with high prices.
"Many European growers are starting to harvest early, before the fruit meets the minimum commercial standards, since the international kiwifruit market is empty," said Pedro Varela, from the sales department of TC Fruits. "The southern hemisphere campaign has ended between a month and a month and a half earlier than usual because of a drop in the production in New Zealand and Chile. Prices have been high throughout the summer," he said.
Spain will start with earlier varieties, such as the Green Light in October. The harvest of the Hayward, which is the main variety, will begin in November, and its marketing will start at the end of the same month. "Next week we could already start harvesting the first yellow Dorì kiwis."
"The production in the northern hemisphere will be low again, even lower than last year's," he says. "In Portugal and Spain it will be down by around 10% and in Italy it could fall by up to 15%, while in Greece volumes will remain similar, as new plantations are coming into production."
"Meanwhile, Asia is also recording a significant drop in the production, which will lead it to import more European kiwifruit. Therefore, everything points to prices remaining high throughout the season," says Pedro Varela.
Tc Fruits' top quality kiwis are labeled with the Raíces brand and are produced in the Spanish region of Galicia, as well as in Portugal. They are supplied mainly to retail chains and wholesale markets on the Iberian Peninsula, with some volumes going also to Germany and the United Kingdom. In summer, they import mainly from Chile to be able to offer an uninterrupted service, although these kiwis are marketed under the supplier's brand.
"Last year, we decided to go a step further in the quality selection of our kiwis for the Raíces brand, raising the minimum requirements for Brix, hardness and dry matter. It went really well and many customers have called us again to repeat their purchases," says the company's sales representative with satisfaction. "We have our own productions as well as those of other growers to whom we advise with our know-how to ensure the required standards are met," he says.
"Spain is one of the countries with the highest consumption of kiwifruit in Europe, and we expect it to continue growing. The country's domestic production is increasing slightly every year, but it is not yet large enough to meet its consumption needs, so Spain also imports from Italy and, increasingly, from Greece and Portugal," says Pedro Varela. "Greek kiwifruit is becoming a growing competitor for Italian kiwifruit, due to its more competitive price, something that does not affect Spanish kiwifruit, since it targets a consumer segment that seeks higher quality."
TC Fruits will once again be exhibiting at the 15th edition of the Fruit Attraction international trade fair, from October 3 to 5, at IFEMA, Madrid, where it will take the opportunity to meet with its customers and suppliers. Those who want to visit them can find them in Hall 10, stand 10F09A.