KIWIFRUIT SITUATION FOR SELECTED COUNTRIES
Kiwifruit production and exports in 1997/98 are expected to decline
Kiwifruit production in 11 countries in 1997/98 is forecast at 852,551 tons, 11 percent below the previous season's level. Selected country exports in 1997/98 are forecast at 565,950 tons, down about 12 percent from the previous year. Shipments are expected to decline from all exporting countries except the New Zealand and France. U.S. exports in 1997/98 are expected to approximate last year season's level. However increased supplies are expected to offset reduced imports from Italy. Italy and New Zealand are the world's largest exporters of kiwifruit, accounting for 70 percent of 1997/98 forecast exports. Chile is the third largest shipper, accounting for 20 percent of total exports
Production in the Northern Hemisphere accounts for over 50 percent of world production. Italy is traditionally the world's largest producer and by far the largest producer and exporter in the Northern Hemisphere. All Northern Hemisphere countries with the exception of Italy and Greece, are net importers of kiwifruit.
The European Union (EU) is the world's most important kiwifruit growing region, accounting for 42 percent of world production. Italy is the largest producer accounting for 61 percent of EU production. Production in 1997/98, for the 5 major EU producing countries forecast at 358,200 tons, the lowest level in this decade, down 34 percent or 110,000 tons. EU exports in 1997/98 are forecast at 230,750 tons, the lowest level since 1991/92 and down 31 percent from last year. Severe frosts during the early part of the growing season reduced production in all countries except France.
Italian kiwifruit production in 1997/98 declined by 31 percent or 100,000 tons. Unfavorable weather affected most of the growing areas with some regions experiencing as much as a 50 percent reduction in yields.
Italy's exports in 1997/98 are forecast at 180,000 tons, down 30 percent from last year's record of 257,000 tons. Over 70 percent of Italy's exports are destined for other EU countries, mainly Germany, which accounts for 30 percent of total exports.
French production and consumption of kiwifruit are slowly trending down while trade remains fairly static. This year's production is estimated at 72,000 tons; about the same as last year's output but 8 percent below the 1994/95 output. Consumption has dropped from 82,000 tons in 1994/95 to a forecast 76,000 tons in 1997/98. Exports in 1997/98 are forecast at 22,000 tons, 2,000 tons above last year's level but well below the 28,000 tons shipped in 1992/93.
Portuguese production is estimated at 9,000 tons, down 14 percent from last year. The, unfavorable weather conditions also affected the quality, coloration, and fruit size.
Japanese kiwifruit production in 1997/98 is estimated at 40,400 tons, down 8 percent from the previous season, due to reduced area. This represents a continuation in the general declining trend in kiwi production, resulting from Japan's rapidly aging farm population and the decreasing competitiveness of domestic kiwis relative to imports. Further contraction of acreage and production is expected.
Virtually all of Japan's kiwifruit imports arrive during the off season. These imports have been fairly constant, ranging from a high of 50,000 tons to a low of 42,300 tons. This suggests that demand for kiwifruit is fairly constant and not centered solely on domestic production. U.S. producers may have an opportunity to ship to Japan if domestic production continues to decline and U.S. product is competitively priced.
Despite a slight decline in planted area, favorable weather conditions contributed to a record kiwifruit production in Korea in 1997/98. Output rose 10 percent to 14,000 tons.
Korean imports in 1997/98 are forecast at 2,500 tons, 46 percent of last years level, due to multiple factors. Recent currency devaluations have increased the price of imported fruit in general. This makes U.S. sourced fruit more expensive. In addition increased domestic production of all fruits has led to consumer preferences for a variety of lower priced domestic products. Also, Korea lifted the ban on imports of Chilean kiwfruit, which increased imports by 17 percent and depressed prices. The imported fruit was described to be of poor quality and contributed to an oversupply situation which ran into the winter season.
Kiwifruit production in 1997/98 is estimated at 35,381 tons, up 24 percent from last year's weather reduced crop. This year's increase is due to extraordinary weather conditions during the entire growing season. Fruit size is described as smaller than normal but not as small as last year.
U.S. exports of kiwifruit in 1996/97 reached 5,438 tons, slightly above 1995/96 shipments. Canada and Korea are the major U.S. kiwfruit markets, which collectively account for slightly more than 88 percent of total U.S. exports. The California Kiwifruit Commission (CKC) has recognized the importance of these markets. For over 3 years, CKC has committed more than 85 percent of its Market Access Funds in continuing to develop and maintain these markets. In-store promotions, trade relation activities, and trade shows have been used to address low awareness and increasing competition in Canada and Korea.
The Korean market is a key success story for the United States. Exports have grown from 538 tons in 1992/93 to around at 1,560 tons in the last few years. The California Kiwifruit Commission has used MAP funds to increase consumer advertising, distribute point of sale materials, and maintain public relations.
Exports to Canada increased 72 percent in 1996/97 to 3,246 tons, valued at $3.4 million. The California Kiwifruit Commission (CKC) has been working in Canada to overcome competition from Italian, Greek, and French kiwifruit imports. Last year, promotional activities included consumer promotions, trade shows and trade related activities.
U.S. exports to Taiwan and Japan have become almost non-existent. Shipments to these countries, which reached 3,800 tons in 1992/93, totaled only 10 tons in 1996/97. U.S. kiwifruit cannot compete against lower priced French kiwifruit.
The U.S. Commerce Department's determination of injury to the U.S. domestic kiwifruit industry from imports of New Zealand kiwifruit led to the imposition of a 98.6 percent anti-dumping duty in May 1992. However, since that date the margin has been reduced several times and is now set at zero.
SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE COUNTRIES
The Southern Hemisphere kiwifruit industry is centered in New Zealand and Chile. Australia, by comparison, is a small kiwifruit producer. Collectively, these suppliers account for about 404,400 ons or 47 percent of 1997/98 estimated world production. Production in the Southern Hemisphere is up one percent.
Because of the current Asian economic problems, Southern Hemisphere fruit exports, which normally go to these Asian markets, will likely be diverted to other markets. Thus, prices are likely to fall because supplies will be concentrated into fewer markets.
Production in New Zealand in 1997 is estimated at 245,000 tons, up 2 percent from last year. Grower returns for 1997 are expected to be lower than in 1996 due to smaller fruit size, to a stronger New Zealand dollar and increased competition in the export market. New Zealand's 1997/98 exports are forecast to increase 2 percent. Although shipments to the EU for the first ten months of 1997 totaled 115,530 tons, 2 percent over the 12 month 1996/97 volume, exports to all other major markets are down.
Kiwifruit production in Chile reached a record 154,000 tons in 1997/98, up less than one percent from the 1996 level. About 24 percent of Chile's production is exported. Exports in 1996/97 totaled 116,000 tons, down 3 percent from the previous estimate due to strong competition from New Zealand. Exports in 1997/98 are expected to decrease for several reasons. First, shipments to the United States may decline due to greater competition from New Zealand. resulting from the elimination of the countervailing duty. And second, shipments to Asia may be reduced due to financial crisis in that region.
For further information on production, supply and
distribution, and trade contact Robert Knapp,
Horticultural and Tropical Products Division, (202) 720-4620. For
information on U.S. marketing opportunities, contact Pamela
McKenzie (202) 720-2255.