New Zealand kiwi production, exports to be flat in 2010

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New Zealand kiwi production, exports to be flat in 2010

New Zealand kiwi production and exports in 2010 are expected to maintain their lower levels from 2009 due to poor weather conditions, according to a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

The country is expected to produce 379,000 tons of kiwi in 2010, slightly less than the 380,000 tons produced in 2009. This translates to an expected export of 360,000 tons in 2010, a decline of less than 1 percent from 2009, the report, dated Sept. 1, 2010, said. The slight declines are due to the coldest spring in 50 years and an extended drought, the USDA said.

Europe remained the biggest market for New Zealand kiwi, taking in 48.5 percent of all exports. Exports to China rose 35 percent, and supplies to the U.S. remained stable. The U.S. takes in 6 percent of New Zealand kiwi exports.

Earlier this year, ZESPRI announced the release of three new varieties: a sweeter Green/Gold hybrid, an early harvest Gold and a long-storing Gold.

In other export news,  a New Zealand court turned down an exporter´s  challenge to ZESPRI and Kiwifruit New Zealand, the USDA report said. Turners & Growers had claimed the two groups held an unfair monopoly on exports outside of Australia, the report said.

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