25 Nov 2022

Zespri downgrades forecast returns after warm, wet winter

11:29 am on 25 November 2022
Haywood Green Kiwifruit

The price of a tray of organic green kiwifruit has dropped 50 cents from August forecasts. Photo: RNZ / Susan Murray

Fruit quality issues have led kiwifruit marketer Zespri to downgrade forecast returns for growers.

A warm, wet winter, followed by late frosts in parts of the North Island have affected the quality of the fruit this year - which means by the time it gets to overseas markets it is getting a lower price.

In an update to growers, Zespri chairperson Bruce Cameron said the latest forecast reflected on-going challenges, "particularly with regard to fruit quality".

"The industry has continued to work hard to strengthen onshore quality assessment processes, however the weekly rates of onshore fruit loss have trended above those considered in the August 2022 forecast."

That had forced the company to downgrade predicted returns for growers.

The price per tray for the best-selling SunGold variety has dropped 21 cents from August forecasts while the price of a tray of organic green kiwifruit has dropped 50 cents.

Lower returns are set to hit the company's bottom line - the forecast for net profit for tax for the year ending March 2023 is between $225 million and $235m - a substantial drop from the $361m profit made in the 2021-22 year.

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