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6.15     Blackcurrants

6.15.1      Blackcurrant industry profile

Blackcurrants are grown commercially in New Zealand by 12 growers, with production of around 4,500 tonnes per year planted on approximately 1,000 hectares. 

Blackcurrants are a prescribed product under the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority. The recognised product group is Blackcurrants New Zealand. Blackcurrants New Zealand’s role is to represent growers, ensure sustainable growth and profitability in the New Zealand blackcurrant industry, and promote New Zealand blackcurrants as a premium product.

The industry strategic plan:

  • clearly defines the future direction of the New Zealand blackcurrant industry,
  • provides guiding principles for Blackcurrant New Zealand’s investment of levies collected from growers,
  • prioritises activities to ensure that Blackcurrant New Zealand effectively drives the desired change in the New Zealand blackcurrant industry

As part of this strategy the vision of the Industry for 2020 is to become: ‘A fully integrated industry that delivers the goodness of New Zealand blackcurrants to the world.’

The mission of Blackcurrants New Zealand in achieving this is: ‘To inspire, coordinate and drive meaningful partnerships between New Zealand blackcurrant growers, processors, marketers and researchers.’

6.15.2  Exports

Blackcurrant exports had a combined value of $12.6 million in 2020. This is an 80% increase on the total 2018 value and a return to the export value achieved in 2016 of $12.7 million. Frozen concentrate, individually quick-frozen blackcurrants and ‘other’ blackcurrants increased 69%, 168% and 22% respectively, over this period.

Frozen juice concentrate. The main blackcurrant-based export commodity remains frozen juice concentrate, which was worth around $7.5 million in 2020, a 69% increase on the $4.5 million for 2018 but lower than the $9.3 million reached in 2016. The high point for frozen fruit juice concentrate was $14 million in 2012. Malaysia remains the major market accounting for 64% of the export value, and the Philippines, USA and Japan averaging approximately 9% each.

Frozen juice concentrate is an ingredient in drinks such as Ribena®, and it is noted that exports to Malaysia (where Frucor Beverages parent company Suntory Beverage and Food have a 3rd party producing Ribena®) have reflected this. In 2017, Frucor decided to cease purchasing New Zealand blackcurrants for juice concentrates and this resulted in a number of growers exiting the industry. The rapid fall in exports in 2018 was a direct reflection of this commercial decision. It is noted that the level of exports to Malaysia have increased but are still down from the 2016 value by about 30%. The global nutraceutical market remains a focus for blackcurrant industry growth.

Table 6.15.1: Frozen blackcurrant concentrate (2009.89.20.15) export markets 2018-2020 (year ending June, 1,000L and $NZ FOB)

Market

2018

2019

2020

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

 

Malaysia

158

1,886,444

456

5,388,589

399

4,810,593

 

Philippines

19

232,658

38

313,632

57

691,131

 

United States of America

37

196,290

37

219,232

76

665,197

 

Japan

67

648,659

67

660,633

62

624,602

 

Australia

115

1,103,157

24

87,616

61

353,020

 

European Union

8

29,060

0

0

18

130,555

 

Taiwan

16

142,928

16

152,490

17

121,521

 

South Korea

13

86,619

24

196,599

14

119,439

 

Indonesia

1

9,004

1

16,722

1

9,526

 

Barbados

10

115,406

3

39,414

0

0

 

Total

443

$4,450,225

666

$7,074,927

703

$7,525,584

 

% change (yr/yr)

-47%

-51%

50%

59%

6%

6%

 
                 

Volume = 1,000L

 

Individual quick frozen. Exports were worth $3.6 million in 2020, a 168% increase on the $1.3 million exported in 2018. China is now the largest market for IQF blackcurrants at $2.3 million and 63% of IQF value, surpassing Japan which was previously the largest market and remains steady on $1.2 million. A small volume has been sent to Canada for the first time. Other markets fluctuate between years.

Table 6.15.2: Individually quick frozen blackcurrant (0811.20.09.21) export markets 2018-2020 (year ending June, tonnes and $NZ FOB)

Market

2018

2019

2020

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

China

100

229,040

448

1,167,554

871

2,266,647

Japan

361

1,013,234

117

357,313

393

1,221,314

Canada

0

0

0

0

19

78,790

Taiwan

15

41,860

15

40,667

12

37,978

Thailand

0

3,309

1

4,894

1

5,741

Fiji

0

1,948

0

944

0

1,328

Singapore

0

636

0

0

0

1,244

Norfolk Island

0

496

0

188

0

259

Myanmar

0

0

0

0

0

89

United States of America

0

0

0

0

0

11

Vietnam

0

0

0

4,006

0

0

Malaysia

0

0

0

163

0

0

Indonesia

5

31,213

0

0

0

0

South Korea

6

25,631

0

0

0

0

Tonga

0

35

0

0

0

0

Total

489

$1,347,402

581

$1,575,729

1,295

$3,613,401

% change (yr/yr)

28%

20%

19%

17%

123%

129%

 

Other blackcurrant exports. Blackcurrant exports other than frozen concentrate or IQF product forms includes a number of different products (e.g. puree, pomace) with a wide range of values, including processed powder products which have a value of several hundred thousand dollars per tonne. Exports of these products have decreased in 2018 but have returned to a value of $1.4 million, similar to the 2016 value of 1.5 million. China remains the largest market with 95% of volume and value of all 2020 exports of other blackcurrant exports. Other markets have been variable over the last three years.

Blackcurrants New Zealand has been working with New Zealand Customs and HEA to develop more HS codes to better describe the exported product forms. These include 1106.30.00.10, 1106.30.00.15 for exports of variable strength blackcurrant powder, and 1212.99.00.13 used for blackcurrant pomace. Exports using these codes are not included in this report.

Table 6.15.3: Other blackcurrant exports (0811.20.09.23, 0811.20.09.28, 2008.99.31.01) export markets 2018-2020 (year ending June, tonnes and $NZ FOB)

Market

2018

2019

2020

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

China

429

923,405

877

2,224,280

556

1,346,868

Japan

16

159,395

0.018

1,185

24.5

57,999

Fiji

3.15

1,884

1.3

6,372

2

5,335

Singapore

0.4

18,018

0.047

2,242

0.377

2,676

Taiwan

0.2

13,942

0.034

7,174

0.037

1,951

Pacific Islands

0.06

220

0.002

113

0.380

1,638

Hong Kong

0.19

8,170

0

0

0.020

1,187

United States of America

0

0

0.062

4,716

0.008

672

European Union

0

0

7

11,184

0

0

Malaysia

4

37,854

0

0

0

0

Thailand

0.01

312

0

0

0

0

French Polynesia

0

58

0

0

0

0

 Total

453

$1,163,258

885

$2,257,266

583

$1,418,326

% change (yr/yr)

-5%

8%

95%

94%

-34%

-37%

 

6.15.3  Barriers to export

Cost of Tariffs

The cost of tariffs on blackcurrant exports is split mainly between Japan (43%), EU (34%), and South Korea (22%). Almost all the tariffs are paid on frozen blackcurrant concentrate. Under CPTPP the tariffs to Japan on IQF were eliminated on 30 December 2018, the 4.5% on concentrate will be phased down to zero by 2023. The 12% tariff on concentrate imposed by South Korea will phase out to zero in 2024. Various blackcurrant products are included in the New Zealand-Korea FTA and tariffs will be phased out over the next decade. The estimated cost of tariffs equates to an average $5,447 across the 12 blackcurrant growers.

Table 6.15.4: Cost of blackcurrant tariffs (based on 2020 FOB value)

Tariff Item

Country

Tariff rate

Value

Estimated cost of tariff ($)

Frozen concentrate

Malaysia

0%

4,810,593

0

Philippines

0%

691,131

0

United States of America

0.5c/L

665,197

597

Japan

4.5%

624,602

28,107

Australia

0%

353,020

0

European Union

16.8%

130,555

21,933

Taiwan

0%

121,521

0

South Korea

12%

119,439

14,333

Indonesia

0%

9,526

0

Total frozen concentrate

0.9%

$7,525,584

$64,970

Individual quick frozen (IQF)

China

0%

2,266,647

0

Japan

0%

1,221,314

0

Canada

0%

78,790

0

Taiwan

0%

37,978

0

Thailand

0%

5,741

0

Fiji

5%

1,328

66

Singapore

0%

1,244

0

United States of America

9%

11

1

Total IQF

0%

$3,613,053

$67

Other blackcurrant exports

China

0%

1,346,868

0

Japan

0%

57,999

0

Fiji

5%

5,335

267

Singapore

0%

2,676

0

Taiwan

0%

1,951

0

Hong Kong

0%

1,187

0

United States of America

9%

672

60

Total other

0%

$1,416,688

$327

 

Total - blackcurrants

0.5%

$12,555,325

$65,365

 

SPS and other market access barriers

Almost all blackcurrants are exported as frozen (block frozen or individually quick frozen) or processed forms (concentrate or puree), or as a powdered nutraceutical, so there are no significant phytosanitary market access problems. The industry operates an enforceable food safety programme as part of its export marketing strategy (EMS) under the HEA structure to help ensure it retains access to all its key m