The 2019 Chilean kiwifruit season could see volumes drop 5% lower year-on-year, but much will depend on the rest of the late-summer growing season.
Carlos Cruzat, president of the Chilean Kiwifruit Committee, told FreshFruitPortal.com that the industry is currently forecasting 175,000 metric tons (MT) of fruit compared to 184,000MT last year, although the sizing could be slightly larger.
The drop in production is attributed to factors including lower planted hectarage - with some of the older orchards having been taken out - and the hailstorm that hit many growing regions in November.
He added that the harvest start dates should be normal.
“The dry matter is coming along well, as are the soluble solids, which are what determine when the fruit can be harvested,” he said.
In terms of exports, Cruzat noted that this year Greece, which had a huge crop the previous season, had 20% lower production, which should lead to improved market conditions.
He expected 40% of exports would go to Europe, 15% to North America, 22% to Latin America, 4% to the Middle East, and 20% to the Far East.
Last year the industry carried out a promotional campaign in India and Cruzat expected that this season more would be held in other countries.
He added that work was underway to improve the Chilean kiwifruit quality parameters and to ensure that it has an optimal post-harvest life.