Southern Hemisphere kiwi exports expected to drop 3.3% in 2011
The reduction is due to the volume from New Zealand, which is expected to have a drop of about 10%, to 314,000 MT. The share from Chile will be 200,700 MT, 9.4% more than the volume from last season.
The reduction from New Zealand is a result of bad weather conditions in spring, such as hail and rain, but is primarily due to the effects of bacteria that attacked during flowering. It is estimated that there are about 500 hectares affected by the disease PSA.
In Chile, development conditions for the fruit have been more favorable, and only small-scale frost caused slight damage to production potential. The frost occurred on Oct. 1 and 2 in the regions near Rancagua and Talca. It is also expected that the fruit will have better post-harvest performance due to the big temperature spread in December and January in production zones and high temperatures that are cooler than last year. That has allowed better accumulation of soluble solids.
The first harvests will start with the SummerKiwi variety in Chile at the end of February with a Brix standard of 6.2. In New Sealand, the season is expected to start in the first half of March with ZespriGold, with harvest standards similar to SummerKiwi.