News and insight for North America's fresh produce buyers
Gill McShane

BY GILL McSHANE

Thursday 18th December 2008, 09:25 Central Time

Ideal market conditions buoy Italian deal

A strong dollar coupled with a domestic shortage is driving imports of kiwifruit from Italy this season

Ideal market conditions buoy Italian deal

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Leading North American importers say Italian kiwifruit marketers are enjoying a strong entry onto the US and Canadian import markets this season due to a more favourable dollar/euro exchange rate and the shortest California kiwifruit crop in more than 20 years.

The strengthening of both the US and Canadian dollars has turned around expectations for the 2008/09 deal, sources claim, after a difficult season last year when a strong euro and solid EU demand led Italian producers to keep more fruit at home, resulting in a 22 per cent decline in exports to the US alone.

In addition, receivers say it looks to be a very short year for California kiwifruit producers after a frost hit the San Joaquin Valley in spring, which will drive demand for Italian fruit.

Leading importers in the US told Fruitnet.com they were anticipating “strong business” into Canada for the fall months, followed by a more positive US deal as of January 2009.

“I’ll be bringing in about 100 containers of Italian kiwifruit this year compared to 40 containers last season,” said one source.

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