Europe: Soaring yellow kiwifruit production in Italy to offset green decline
A huge rise in yellow kiwifruit production in Italy this season is set to more than offset a decline in green volumes, according to the International Kiwifruit Organization (IKO).
The online 39th IKO meeting held on Sept. 16 and 17 also forecast a production rise of 6% year-on-year in Europe to around 707,000 metric tons (MT).
Compared to the previous year, the supply in Italy is expected to increase by 3% to around 327,000MT. Meanwhile, Greece's supply is forecast to rise by 10% to 272,000MT.
Growth is also anticipated in Portugal and Spain, but production in France is expected to drop by 6%.
In Italy, the increase is driven by the yellow kiwifruit varieties, of which around 80,000MT are forecast to be produced, marking a 35% rise thanks to new plantings coming into production.
Italy's green variety production is expected to drop again by 4%, following a historical low of the previous year as a consequence of both frost damage. A mysterious kiwiofruit disease has also been spreading throughout Italy, impacting yields.
The IKO said the disease has been spreading since 2012 in the Verona area, before affecting other important kiwi growing areas, such as Piedmont, Lazio and Friuli Venezia Giulia, but its presence has recently been reported also in Calabria, Campania and Basilicata.
It is a very worrying phenomenon that, based on the estimates of CSO Italy, has affected about 4,500 hectares that are no longer productive, between 2012 and today, in addition to the production areas whose yields have been impacted.