18 Dec 2014

Zespri optimistic over gold kiwifruit crop

8:19 am on 18 December 2014

Kiwifruit marketer Zespri says the industry is on track to complete its recovery from the Psa disease disaster, with a big lift in gold kiwifruit production expected next year.

Zespri expects a lift in gold kiwifruit production next year.

Zespri expects a lift in gold kiwifruit production next year. Photo: AFP / Monty Rakusen / Cultura Creative

In its latest forecast, Zespri lifted this year's grower returns for all kiwifruit varieties and predicted per hectare earnings for green and organic green kiwifruit would reach record levels.

It was projecting a similar green kiwifruit crop next year, but expected gold kiwifruit volumes would shoot up from 19 million trays to close to 30m trays as the more Psa-tolerant gold three variety came into full production.

However, Zespri's chief executive, Lain Jager, said the outlook for next year is not all rosy.

"Other major factors for us are the slow economy in Europe, also Japan struggling and growth in China coming off, so the global economic environment is something we're watching carefully.

"The strength of the dollar continues to be a burden for the New Zealand kiwifruit industry, as it is for all other exporters."

On the other hand, Mr Jager said the kiwifruit industry could look forward to reduced tariffs under New Zealand's new trade agreement with South Korea, although it was not yet known when that would take effect.