NZ: 2013-14 gold kiwifruit forecast stark
New Zealand's gold kiwifruit production in the 2013-14 season could drop to less than half of the previous year's output, according to a Ministry for Primary Industries' (MPI) update to the annual Situation and Outlook report.
The report forecast was stark for a number of industries, predicting an overall drop in primary sector exports for the 2012-13 year.
Although kiwifruit export revenue is forecasted to rise 14% for the period ending Mar. 31, 2013, the impact of Psa-V for the 2013-14 did not look good.
The report noted that the vine-killing disease Psa-V has now spread to almost all kiwifruit growing regions, and will adversely impact gold kiwifruit exports until March 2014.
According to New Zealand's Kiwifruit Vine Health Inc, 2,044 orchards had been identified with Psa-V as of Dec. 12, 2012. 69% of New Zealand’s kiwifruit hectares were reported to be on an orchard identified with Psa-V.
The government update indicated that gold kiwifruit exports could drop drastically to 10-16 million trays from the 2012-2013 level of 24 million trays.
Overall kiwifruit exports for 2013-14 are expected drop 3% to 18% to between 81 and 96 million trays. Export returns are forecasted to drop 12% to 28%, to between NZ$724 million (US$610 million) and $887 million (US$747 million).
To help restabilize gold kiwifruit production, the government reported that growers have purchased 1,700 hectares of Gold3, a more Psa tolerant cultivar. The purchase will transition around two-thirds of Hort16A orchard area.