For the New Zealand Kiwifruit industry May is the peak of the export season and in May 2018 there were just over 103 million kilograms of kiwifruit exported worth $414 million. This is up from the previous year when 101 million kilograms of kiwifruit were exported, but still below the current record 105 million kilograms set in May 2016.
With the average per kilogram price of kiwifruit rising over the last few years, this has meant that May 2018 stands as one of the best results seen in the last decade. This has resulted in $1.8 billion worth of kiwifruit being exported in the year to May 2018, as shown in the figure below. Over the last four years the Kiwifruit industry in New Zealand has rebounded strongly after the introduction of Psa-V in late 2010, which damaged kiwifruit vines in our main kiwifruit growing areas.
A large part of the recent success of the New Zealand Kiwifruit industry has been the introduction of a new gold kiwifruit variety called SunGold, which is Psa-tolerant. This new variety has now been in commercial production for three years and has been a substantial success in export markets. With gold variety kiwifruit able to command around $5 a kilogram, compared to $3.20 for green kiwifruit varieties, it has seen export values jump rapidly while export volumes have grown much more slowly, as kiwifruit growers swap to the new SunGold variety.
This can be seen in the export data for May 2018, where gold kiwifruit comprised 44 percent of export volumes, but 56 percent of export values. At the same time green kiwifruit comprised 55 percent of volume, but 44 percent of export values.