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Value Of Horticulture Exports Reaches 1.9 Billion

18 July 2001

Value Of Horticulture Exports Reaches 1.9 Billion, Up 9 Percent On Previous Year

Provisional export figures for the year ended March 2001 estimates the value of horticulture exports to be $1.9 billion, which is up 9 percent on the previous March year but around 26 percent higher than 1996 estimates.

This is according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry Horticulture Farm Monitoring Report released today.

Farm monitoring is a process whereby MAF monitors the production, finance, trends, issues and sectors concerns in New Zealand farms. The expectations of farmers, and those servicing the sector are analysed and presented as a model farm. The report highlights the 2000/2001 seasons and forecasts the 2001/2002 season. The views reflect those of the sector, and not necessarily those of MAF.

There are nine farm monitoring reports this year. Five of these are sector specific (deer, sheep and beef, dairying, arable, and horticulture). Four are regional (South, Central South, North and North Central).

The horticulture sector is the fourth largest contributor to New Zealand’s total exports according to a survey undertaken by Statistics New Zealand, and recent sector studies indicate that export returns for horticulture could more than double again by 2010.

The provisional figures indicate in the horticulture report that kiwifruit is currently the largest export earner at $588 million, an increase of around 70 percent since 1994. Apples are next at $369 Million, an increase of 10 percent in the last seven years, followed by wine exports at $201 million, up from $17 Million in 1994. Of the smaller sectors, avocados have increased from $6.5 Million to 26 Million in the same period.

Land in horticulture production is estimated at 128,712 ha, an increased of 28 percent since 1994. The two largest regions are Canterbury with 21,209 ha and Hawke’s Bay with 20,919 ha. Since 1994 the largest area increases were in wine grapes (77 percent), avocados (92 percent), cherries (95 percent) and mandarins (53 percent). The kiwifruit area has only changed 0.1 percent over the same period, and the area in apples has declined by 7 percent.

Climate continues to have a significant impact on the performance of various crops, however, unlike most seasons where climatic affect tended to be more regional or crop specific, this year it impacted nationally on all crops.

With few exceptions, national crop volumes and honey production were reduced by a range of climatic effects, which included frosts, wind, below average temperatures and drought. Prices received have increase significantly for crops such as summerfruit and some vegetables, but overall profitability has generally decreased across the range of crops due to reduced yields.

Producer Board Reforms continue to be a hotly debated issue for the sector. For most, the Government’s move to deregulate has generally been accepted as inevitable.

MAF Farm Monitoring Reports can be found on the MAF website at www.maf.govt.nz

Ends


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