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

 

What Winter? Temperature Records Set For June 20-22

The days around the winter soltice produced a number of notably warm tempertaures. More>>

Conservation Deal: New Kākāpō Recovery Partnership Welcomed

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says the new kakapo recovery partnership between DOC and Meridian Energy is great news for efforts to save one of New Zealand’s most beloved birds. More>>

ALSO:

Tech Sector Report: Joyce Warns Asian Tech Investors View NZ As Hobbits And Food

Speaking in Wellington at the launch of a report showcasing the value of the technology sector to the New Zealand economy, Joyce said more had to be done to tell the country's technology stories overseas. More>>

ALSO:

Mediaglommeration: APN Gets OIO Approval For Demerger Plan

APN News & Media has received Overseas Investment Office approval for its plan to split out its NZME unit ahead of a potential merger with rival Fairfax Media's New Zealand operations. More>>

New Paper: Ninety-Day Trial Period Has No Impact On Firms' Hiring

The introduction of a 90-day trial period has had no impact on hiring by New Zealand companies although they are now in widespread use, according to researchers at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections: Serco Exits Equity Stake, Remains As Operator

Serco has sold its equity stake in the company that holds the contract to design, build and run Wiri Prison in South Auckland but continues as sub-contractor to operate the facility. More>>

GDP: NZ Economy Grows Faster-Than-Forecast 0.7%

New Zealand's economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the first quarter of 2016 as construction expanded at the quickest rate in two years. The kiwi dollar jumped after the data was released. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news