29 Jul 2009

Apple, pear exports likely to fall in short term

8:38 am on 29 July 2009

Apple and pear exports will fall back in the short term, although production is expected to be well up this year compared with last year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry predicts.

The forecasts are part of the Ministry's situation and outlook report, which suggests that exports of the two main commercial apple varieties, Braeburn and Royal Gala, will fall from 75% to 64% of exports as the pipfruit industry moves towards newer and more marketable types such as Jazz, Cripps Pink and Tentation.

The value of vegetable exports is predicted to increase steadily beyond 2010, primarily as a result of a depreciated exchange rate. But the report warns price increases are unlikely until consumers are confident that a recovery from the recession is underway.

The report says the wine industry is likely to pull out more grape vines as overseas market conditions continue to deteriorate.

The Ministry expects returns to remain positive for those in the arable industry growing seed for export, at around $150 million.

The report has a warning for the deer industry, which it says needs to do more to diversify export markets and to attract young farmers to succeed those who are retiring.