Europe's kiwifruit market stands firm


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Mike Knowles



Europe's kiwifruit market stands firm

With Greece able to sell much of its crop despite the Russian ban, prospects for the next few months are said to be good

Europe's kiwifruit market stands firm

Leading members of the international kiwifruit business met in Berlin

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Kiwifruit sales in Europe during the current Northern Hemisphere season are said to be progressing well, despite Russia’s ban on EU fruit presenting a new challenge. What's more, with no major increases expected from the new Southern Hemisphere season as it gets underway in a couple of months’ time, that strong market situation is likely to continue.

Sales have reportedly been in line with the performance seen in previous years, with marketers reassured that stocks of Greek fruit in particular are apparently almost used up.

According to one exporter, the good quality of Greece’s kiwifruit this season has made it easier for the country’s suppliers to find alternatives to Russia, traditionally one of their main markets.

As noted at a recent meeting of the International Kiwifruit Organization in Berlin, it is understood only around 30 per cent of the country’s crop remained to be sold at the end of January.

A little over 40 per cent of Italy’s crop, meanwhile, which is the largest in Europe by some distance, had apparently been sold by the same point, representatives from the Italian agency CSO told the meeting.

As far as the Southern Hemisphere is concerned, the major news is that both Chile and New Zealand will continue to produce below their potential full volume.

Damage to Chile’s kiwifruit orchards caused by hail last season is understood to be having an impact on its output in 2015, while in New Zealand some hail damage sustained in the South Island last November plus the work in progress to replace yellow-fleshed variety Hort16A with SunGold following the country’s much-publicised Psa outbreak means its own harvest will be smaller than in previous years.

Chile’s production is expected to be around 170,000 compared with a normal crop of over 200,000 tonnes.

“The availability of Northern Hemisphere product, the good quality of that kiwifruit and the fact that Southern Hemisphere production is not excessive gives us hope for a good end to the campaign,” said one Italian kiwifruit marketer.

The IKO meeting, held during Fruit Logistica 2015, involved members of the kiwifruit business from Chile, France, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain.

European production in 2014/15 is likely to finish up around 646,000-tonne mark, about 6 per cent more than last season.

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