A good quality crop and less crowded market augur well for the new Chilean kiwifruit export season.
According to Asoex president Ronald Bown, the kiwifruit harvest started 15 days earlier than usual and the export volume is expected to weigh in at just under 175,000 tonnes.
“Quality is very good this year as there is a higher proportion of dry matter which benefits the flavour and shelf-life of the fruit,” Bown told El Mercurio.
“Northern Hemisphere stocks are lower than last year and this means that Chilean arrivals have encountered clearer markets and as a result prices have been higher than in 2016.”
Luis Schmidt, president of producer association Fedefruta, added that the smaller Italian crop meant prices in the US were around 35 per cent higher than last year, averaging between US$1.60 and US$1.70 per kg.
The Chilean Kiwifruit Committee announced earlier that it had tightened up the requirements of its Maturity Assurance Programme (PAM) for 2017 in order to improve the quality and uniformity of the fruit.
Citrus producers are also reporting a high quality crop with a good size profile and colouration. Exports of oranges, mandarins, clementines and lemons are expected to be 3 per cent higher than last season, with the first clementines due to be harvested and shipped this week.