Larger Chilean kiwifruit expected to receive steady spring demand

03/13/2013 11:32:00 AM
Andy Nelson

New Zealand fruit on tap for mid-May

The first containers of kiwifruit from New Zealand are set to reach the U.S. and Canada in mid-May, said Michele Hoard, senior marketing manager for Zespri Americas, a division of Mount Maunganui, New Zealand-based Zespri International Ltd., the exclusive exporter of the country’s kiwifruit.

The New Zealand crop is down this year, which will also mean lower volumes slated for North American markets, Hoard said. Gold kiwifruit vines continue to succumb to Psa, a bacterial disease first found in 2010.

Green and organic vines, however, have fared better, and a new gold variety, SunGold, has proved more resistant.

“We’re finding that most (SunGold) vines are able to push through the worst of Psa, similar to hayward,” Hoard said. “However, it will take two more years for these vines to mature and start producing marketable kiwifruit.”

Early reports indicate excellent quality out of New Zealand, but because of Psa, volumes will be down in 2013, Woodyear-Smith said.


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