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The rise and rise of horticulture exports

The rise and rise of horticulture exports

Horticultural exports continue to rise. The latest statistics from Statistics NZ confirm that horticulture is one of New Zealand's top growth industries with exports to the year ending June 2002 reaching $2.1 billion.

Kiwifruit and pipfruit are the star export performers again this year with kiwifruit up four percent to $618.4 million and apple exports increased 23.3 percent to $420.9 million.

Paul McGilvary, HortResearch's CEO said horticulture continues to be a strong contributor to regional development and employment.

"There has been a dramatic rise in the value of horticultural exports from only $100 million in 1980 to $2.1 billion this last financial year, an annual growth of close to 10 percent," Mr McGilvary said.

In New Zealand many developments in horticulture are leading the world. The new yellow-fleshed kiwifruit, 'JazzTM' apples, and sustainable and organic production methods are equal to the worlds best.

New Zealand kiwifruit orchards produce the highest yield in the world with approximately 22 tonnes per hectare compared to Chile with 19 tonnes per ha, and Italy with 16 tonnes per ha.

Exports of grape wine continue to grow, up 24.9 percent to $230 m, or $249 m including sparkling wine exports.

Other fruit with surging exports were citrus, pears, and apricots. Citrus exports were up 27.4 percent to $10.2 m. Pears reached $18.8 m and apricots brought in $10.4 m. Processed fruit have also leapt ahead, up 10.2 percent to $327.1 m. Onions and squash continue to dominate the vegetable exports, at $100.8 m and $81.6 m.

Avocado exports rose 9.6 percent to $28.2 m.

The value of exported frozen and processed vegetables continued to rise with a surprising 60.5 percent increase to $338.2 m in the export of vegetables in vinegar.

While exports of fresh potatoes have dropped 32.1 percent to $9.4 m, frozen potatoes have more than filled the gap rising to $49.8 m.

Berryfruit had a disappointing year and dropped 22.1 percent to $15.7 m. The total frozen fruit exports also dropped, 35.6 percent to $5.3 m.

Cut flowers too are down, losing 6.8 percent to $47.8 m, but our olive oil exports are really starting to take off, and although in dollar terms the earnings are still modest at $274,254 thousand, that is a 301.1 percent jump from last year.

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