Overall Zespri kiwifruit volumes were down in the 2017-18 season, but global sales and grower returns both grew over the previous season.
While Zespri International Ltd.’s New Zealand kiwifruit volume dropped by 11%, strong market performance lifted the total fruit and service payment to growers by 6% to $1.47 billion.
Zespri’s global kiwifruit sales were also up 6% at $2.39 billion, according to a news release. Total revenue, which includes license income, was $2.51 billion.
Chairman Peter McBride said in the release that record volume of SunGold kiwifruit sales and strong consumer demand for the smaller crop of green and organic green kiwifruit all contributed to the sales gains.
“The industry’s performance during the last season reinforces our confidence in our strategy and potential for strong and sustainable growth,” McBride said.
The average per-tray return for green kiwifruit jumped to $6.71, up from $4.36 in 2016-17, according to the release.
Sales volume for the total gold kiwifruit category rose by 9% to 52.1 million trays, with the average return per tray $10.06, up from $8.64 in 2016-17.
Returns for organic green came in at $8.93 per tray, up from $6.86 last season, while the sweet green kiwifruit per-tray return dropped slightly to $5.61 (from $5.79 last season) on 1.2 million trays, according to the release.
Green, organic green and sweet green kiwifruit volumes were down by as much as 27% in average yields from the 2016-17 season.
Looking to the upcoming season, Zespri expects record production of New Zealand and non-New Zealand kiwifruit with increasing supply of SunGold and a recovery in supply of green fruit, Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson said in the release.