1 Oct 2012

Planned export expansion will stretch avocado production

9:54 am on 1 October 2012

The avocado industry has admitted that its current irregular production will test its planned expansion into new overseas markets.

Avocado industry representatives launched the new season at an event held in Tokyo last week.

The New Zealand Avocado Growers' Association says 320,000 trays of the fruit are expected to go to Japan this summer and the outlook for that market remains very positive.

Association chief executive Jen Scoular says new markets being targeted this year are South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

But she says the industry faces a big challenge with its inconsistent production.

Ms Scoular says it had 6.2 million trays last year but it was down to about 3 million trays in the current year.

She says the association is anticipating that for 2013 - 2014 there will be significant volumes going into Korea and it's likely to double the volume going to Malaysia.

Ms Scoular says over the next five years real growth is expected in those markets for New Zealand avocados from both a volume and a value point of view.