26 Jun 2014

Hort exports benefit from competition

1:49 pm on 26 June 2014

A large horticultural conference has heard fruit and vegetable exporters are benefiting from growing competition between traditional markets and emerging markets in Asia.

ANZ Bank agri-economist Con Williams painted a rosy outlook for horiculture at the Produce Marketing Association Fresh Connections conference in Auckland.

He said the competition for supply between older and newer markets has meant better prices for producers and exporters.

"One of the interesting things is, if you look at price points in some of those emerging markets - they're now equivalent or better to say European or US markets and so that's quite a massive turnaround in a very short period of time, say if you went five or six years ago that wouldn't have been the case, or maybe a little bit further.

And some of that is investment that we've seen, say if we took the pipfruit sector where they've changed their variety mix quite substantially over the last 10 years or so.

And the taste and varieties they've implemented there are more in line with those markets

so their investment kind of paying off at the moment," Con Williams said.

He said the horticultural sector is much more diversified than the dairy and forestry sectors and less reliant on China which stands them in good stead at the moment as prices in China are falling.