This season’s gold kiwifruit harvest is thought to be only half of last year’s, down 1-2m trays on an estimate given in March by Zespri chief executive Lain Jager, the Bay of Plenty Times reports.
While it was widely expected that the crop would be reduced by the Psa virus, Jager predicted a harvest of 13-15m trays. However, Zespri spokesperson Rachel Lynch has now announced an estimate of 12-13m trays.
In 2012, Zespri exported 24.6m trays, which was a reduction of 16 per cent from the previous year due to Psa.
Gold kiwifruit volumes had been tipped to return to 2011 levels with the discovery of a more Psa-resistant variety Gold3, but this takes two years for the vines to bed in once planted.
Green kiwifruit volumes have been be consistent with previous seasons, with the Haywards variety on par with the 70m tray harvest of 2012. While the fruit was smaller, the recent drought increased its sweetness and helped strong sales.
Psa is believed to have spread to around 64 per cent of kiwifruit orchards, but experts say the hot dry summer has helped rein in the spread of the disease.