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Export crop expected to be 18.55 million cartons

January 4 2005

Pipfruit export crop expected to be 18.55 million cartons

Pipfruit New Zealand is forecasting the industry is on track to produce an export crop of about 18.55 million cartons for the 2005 season. This is down from last year’s record 21 million cartons.

PNZ chairman Ian Palmer said today indicative regional crop assessments were being completed, with the biennial nature of some varieties and excellent early thinning indicating a lighter crop.

“The quality and size of the fruit is looking very good at this stage,” Mr Palmer said. Crop losses from hail damage before Christmas were expected to be up to five per cent (one million cartons) of total export volumes. This represents a loss of around $30 million in export earnings.

There had been hail damage across all growing regions. Hawke’s Bay – the largest growing region, had lost about half a million cartons, Nelson about a quarter of a million and Wairarapa and Waikato 50,000 to 70,000 cartons. Gisborne and Central Otago had reported minimal damage.

“Within regions, there are some growers who have suffered major individual losses with some crops completely destroyed. Considering the widespread incidence of the hail this season, we have got off pretty lightly,” Mr Palmer said.

“Every year the industry loses some of its potential export crop to hail and frost damage, and this year is no exception”.

A further update on the export crop and market forecast will be presented at Pipfruit New Zealand’s annual conference in Nelson at the end of January.

ENDS

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