Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


NZ apple growers likely to beat $1 bln export target early

NZ apple growers likely to beat $1 billion export target early on rising prices, higher productivity

By Tina Morrison

Jan. 31 (BusinessDesk) – New Zealand apple growers will probably reach $1 billion in exports ahead of their 10-year 2022 target as the industry benefits from higher productivity and rising prices.

The apple industry, New Zealand’s second-largest fresh fruit export after kiwifruit, has raised export prices to offset the negative impact of a higher New Zealand dollar on returns, said Gary Jones, business development manager at grower organisation Pipfruit New Zealand. Better access to seasonal staff through a 2008 government scheme has helped orchard owners raise production.

New Zealand’s apple industry, which accounts for a quarter of the southern hemisphere’s fresh apple exports, is heading into its main three-month harvesting period. Pipfruit NZ plans to drop its compulsory grower levy for research and development to 1 cent a kilogram this year from 1.25 cents last year as it benefits from the extra revenue gleaned from a larger crop.

“If we see more consistency of return like we have over the last couple of years and we see that for another year or so, I think we would have confidence in saying that we would easily achieve that billion dollar figure before 2022,” Jones said. “If we have another year or two like we have in the last couple we are likely to think that we have probably been a bit soft and needed to have brought that forward.”

New Zealand apples sell for a premium over rivals by as much as 20 percent and sales are benefiting from increased affluence in Asia and better access to markets, Jones said.

Apple exporters are exposed to the US dollar, euro and British pound with gains in the New Zealand dollar crimping returns.

“We really really have been up against the currency in terms of trying to get returns,” Jones said. “We have been able to raise the premium in parallel with the increase in exchange rate. Everyone has cooperated to allow us to maintain enough margin to keep going as an industry and so we have been able to reinvest strongly in the business.”

Pipfruit exports were worth a record $500 million last year, spurring demand for nursery trees and root stock, he said. While pears are included in the pipfruit figures, they account for just 3 percent of the total, which is dominated by apples.

“At the moment there is money in the industry being used to reinvest in it and grow,” Jones said.

This year’s apple crop is expected to slip to 505,000 metric tonnes from 550,000 MT last year due to seasonal patterns which dictate a smaller harvest every second year following a frost in 2008. An estimated 308,000 MT are destined for export, from 325,000 MT last year, according to Pipfruit NZ.

Fruit will likely be larger and therefore more valuable this year, as trees produce fewer apples due to the biannual swing and warmer weather, Jones said.

The government’s Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme, which enables Pacific Island workers to help with the harvest, has also boosted industry returns, Jones said. Orchard owners taking part in the scheme had raised production by a third and their orchard area by 20 percent over the past five years.

“It’s been transformational for the industry,” Jones said. “The RSE scheme has allowed us to be much more productive, allowing us to provide the fruit in optimum condition with optimum value and that has allowed us to capture a lot more value and allowed us to survive against the incoming tide of the exchange rate.”

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Power Outages, Roads Close: Easter Storm Moving Down Country

The NZ Transport Agency says storm conditions at the start of the Easter break are making driving hazardous in Auckland and Northland and it advises people extreme care is needed on the regions’ state highways and roads... More>>

ALSO:

Houses (& Tobacco) Lead Inflation: CPI Up 0.3% In March Quarter

The consumers price index (CPI) rose 0.3 percent in the March 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. Higher tobacco and housing prices were partly countered by seasonally cheaper international air fares, vegetables, and package holidays. More>>

ALSO:

Notoriously Reliable Predictions: Budget To Show Rise In Full-Time Income To 2018: English

This year’s Budget will forecast wage increases through to 2018 amounting to a $10,500 a year increase in average full time earnings over six years to $62,200 a year, says Finance Minister Bill English in a speech urging voters not to “put all of this at risk” by changing the government. More>>

ALSO:

Prices Up, Volume Down: March NZ House Sales Drop 10% As Loan Curbs Bite

New Zealand house sales dropped 10 percent in March from a year earlier as the Reserve Bank’s restrictions on low-equity mortgages continue to weigh on sales of cheaper property. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Chorus To Appeal Copper Pricing Judgment

Chorus will appeal a High Court ruling upholding the Commerce Commission’s determination setting the regulated prices on the telecommunications network operator’s copper lines. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

Cars: Precautionary Recalls Announced For Toyota Vehicles

Toyota advises that a number of its New Zealand vehicles are affected by a series of precautionary global recalls. Toyota New Zealand General Manager Customer Services Spencer Morris stressed that the recalls are precautionary. More>>

ALSO:

'Gardening Club': Air Freight Cartel Nets Almost $12 Million In Penalties

The High Court in Auckland has today ordered Swiss company Kuehne + Nagel International AG to pay a penalty of $3.1 million plus costs for breaches of the Commerce Act. Kuehne + Nagel’s penalty brings the total penalties ordered in this case to $11.95 million ... More>>

ALSO:

Crown Accounts: Revenue Below Projections

Core Crown tax revenue has increased by $1.9 billion (or 5.0%) compared to the same time last year. However this was $1.1 billion less than expected and is reflected across most tax types, continuing the pattern of recent months. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news