Gold kiwifruit made up nearly half of all fruit exports for the year to November, Stats NZ figures show.
Total fruit exports remained relatively flat, up 1.3 percent in the year ended November 2021 compared with November 2020.
Kiwifruit made up 71 percent or $2.8 billion of the total value of fruit exports.
Gold kiwifruit accounted for $1.9b of exports, making up 47 percent of total fruit export value, while $923 million of green kiwifruit was exported, 23 percent of the total.
In the 2020 season, gold kiwifruit not only brought in more export dollars than green but overtook it in terms of volume.
Stats NZ international trade manager Alasdair Allen said while green kiwifruit continued to be in high demand, growers in New Zealand were increasingly planting gold and now red kiwifruit to capture greater export value in markets like China and Japan.
Apples exports fell 7.2 percent in value with quantities down 11 percent this season. The fruit made up 21 percent of exports valued at $843m.
The season has been challenging for apple growers, with bad weather and continuing labour shortages earlier in the year contributing to lower than usual output," Allen said.
China is the top export market for New Zealand apples, overtaking the European Union for the 2021 season.