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In a Situation and Outlook for Primary Industry’s (SOPI) report, from the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries, kiwifruit was identified as the country’s leading horticultural export.

The report also predicts this will remain unchanged to 2022. Kiwifruit made up NZ$1.66bn in export dollars in 2017, and is projected to increase to NZ$1.86bn in 2018.

Trailing closely behind kiwifruit, wine also made up NZ$1.66bn, apples and pears NZ$700m, and fresh or processed vegetables NZ$614m in 2017.

Apples and pears are projected to increase 10 per cent in value in 2018, and reach NZ$990m by 2022.

Kiwifruit is expected to reach NZ$2.11bn by 2022.

South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, The EU and Hong Kong were the top five destinations for New Zealand kiwifruit in the year ending March 2018.

The SOPI report states strong growth for horticulture, based on value proposition. This includes research and innovation into production practices, aand new IP-protected varieties which are helping to lift grower returns and gain market share in the premium sector.

Yields of the gold variety of kiwifruit are also rising, and gold export value equalled that of green for the first time in the year ending March 2018.