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KIWIFRUIT SITUATION FOR SELECTED COUNTRIES
|The continued growth in world kiwi production, together with improved storage facilities, have allowed kiwi sales in the northern and southern hemispheres to overlap, resulting in deterioration of export prices and a serious fall in economic returns for many kiwi producers worldwide. Selected country kiwifruit production for 2000/01 is forecast to increase 2 percent to 908,558 tons while exports are forecast to decrease by 1 percent to 663,500 tons. Exports from Italy, which account for about 40 percent of total production, are expected to increase by 10,000 tons. Exports from New Zealand, the worlds second largest producer and exporter, are forecast to decline by 8 percent to total 210,000 tons. United States kiwifruit production in 2000/01 is up 30 percent, to 31,752 tons and exports are forecast to be the same as last year at 5,500 tons.|
Italian kiwifruit output for the 2000/01 marketing year is forecast at 360,000 tons or 4 percent more than in the previous year due both to a larger planted area and favorable weather conditions. However, fruit quality was negatively affected by hail in the late summer and fall and high temperatures just before harvest. Italian exports are forecast to increase by 10,000 tons to total 270,000 tons due to the large supply and low price levels. Imports are forecast to continue the decline from the 1998 high of 38,000 ton and total only 18,000 tons.
Spain's kiwi production in 2000/01, is forecast to increase slightly to about 14,000 tons, similar to last year's crop. While total area planted to kiwis has not changed, some old plants were replaced, and new plantations occurred in Asturias. In Galicia, the main kiwi producing region, there has been a shift from kiwi to wine grapes, because the wine produced in the region is obtaining high prices and there is not enough production to meet the demand. Due to high land costs and limited area in northern producing regions there are no foreseeable increases of area planted to kiwis in Spain. Due to spring freezes and hailstorms, the fruit size in some areas was smaller than usual, while in other areas it was above average and the crop was excellent.
Spain continues to be a significant net importer. During the first 9 months of marketing year 1999/2000 (Oct.-June), kiwi imports totaled 64,837 tons. Based on that pace, imports are estimated to reach about 80,000 tons for full 1999/2000 marketing year. Exports during the same period reached 7,168 tons. In calendar year 1999, Spain imported 74,757 tons of kiwis, about 7 percent above the previous year. Spain's kiwi exports during 1999 amounted to 9,741 tons, representing an 18 - percent increase from the previous year's exports.
Imports during the 2000/01 season are expected to increase again due to higher demand. Major suppliers are Italy and New Zealand.
Greek Kiwifruit production in 2000 is presently forecast at about 52,000 tons. While acreage has remained stable in recent years, production capacity has increased as the trees have matured. The domestic fresh market absorbs between 16,000 to 20,000 tons of fresh kiwifruit annually and exports for calendar year 2000 are estimated to have reached 27,596 tons, mainly to the European Union (EU). Exports to the United States from the 2000 crop totaled 283 tons through late December. Imports for the 1999/2000 marketing year are estimated to be 1,000 tons, mainly from Chile and New Zealand.
French kiwifruit production accounts for 17 percent Of EU output. In 1999 production declined by one percent to 72,900 tons from 74,000 tons in the previous year. Estimated production for 2000 is placed at 73,000 tons, reflecting no change from last year. The decline in total production included an increase in commercial production to 60,000 tons in 1999 from 54,000 tons in 1998, and a reduction in non-commercial production (losses and direct sales from fields) to 12,900 tons from 20,000 tons.
Mainly due to declining non-commercial production, consumption declined to 68,774 tons in 1999/2000 from 81,555 tons in 1998/1999. At the same time, household purchases in retail outlets remained stable at 41,300 tons.
France is traditionally a net importer of kiwifruit, recording a trade deficit of 7,555 tons in marketing year 1998/99. However, last year France became a net exporter of kiwifruit, showing a trade surplus of 4,126 tons. This was due to both increased exports and decreased imports to and from France's leading trade partners. French exports to Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Taiwan rose, while imports from Italy, New Zealand and Chile declined.
Kiwifruit production in 2000/01 is forecast at 31,752 tons, up 30 percent from last year's weather- reduced crop. U.S. exports of kiwifruit for 2000 are forecast at 5,500 tons, reflecting no change from the previous year's level. Although U.S. prices are low, unfavorable exchange rates have hindered U.S. competition in Asian markets for the early part of the marketing season. By the same token low U.S. prices are expected to discourage imports and contribute to a firm domestic demand for U.S. product.
The total kiwifruit harvest for marketing year 2000/01 is forecast at 225,806 tons, 8 percent smaller than the 1999/2000 crop. This is due to continued grafting of mature ZESPRI GREEN vines to the ZESPRI GOLD variety, also to poor winter chilling during winter 2000 and frost damage in spring 2000. Kiwifruit exports for 2000/01 are forecast at 210,000 tons also down 8 percent.
The large volumes of organic and GOLD ZESPRI fruit have made selling conditions difficult for ZESPRI International in the 1999/2000 season. Last year ZESPRI GOLD was introduced on international markets for the first time, and ran into teething problems that will affect grower returns for this product. GOLD is a softer fruit than the green and requires similar handling to peaches and nectarines. ZESPRI identified other problems such as rotting and pitting, and some immature fruit was reportedly exported. The organic kiwifruit also provided a few problems last year. Organic production for 1999/2000 increased threefold from the previous year and the size profiles of the export fruit were smaller than average. The traditional variety of kiwifruit, ZESPRI GREEN, proved to be the backbone of the global business, with exceptionally strong sales in the later part of the season. The GREEN variety fetched higher prices on international markets than its rivals, helped partly by the consumer recognition of the GREEN variety.
Chilean production of kiwifruit is forecast at 152,000, tons up 5 percent from last year and exports are forecast at 110,000 tons up 6 percent. Excellent weather and an ample water supply for irrigation are the main reasons for this increase. Yields and quality were substantially higher from the 1998 to 1999 season and the trend is expected to continue in MY 2000 due to good weather and maturing plants.
In the coming years, only slight increases in production are expected as there are no new plantings. Chile's kiwi production is expected to level off in one or two years with a total production of close to 160,000 metric tons. Over 70 percent of the crop is expected to be exported.
(For information on production and trade, contact Robert Knapp at 202-720-4620. For information on marketing contact Scott Bleggi 202-720-7931.)