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6.14     Blackcurrants

6.14.1      Blackcurrant industry profile

Blackcurrants are grown commercially in New Zealand by approximately 31 growers, with production of around 8,000 tonnes per annum.  Blackcurrants are a prescribed product under the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority. The recognised product group is Blackcurrants New Zealand Inc. (BCNZ) (Product Group Manager – Anna Tier, www.blackcurrants.co.nz). Blackcurrants New Zealand’s role is to represent growers, to ensure sustainable growth and profitability in the New Zealand blackcurrant industry, and to promote NZ blackcurrants as a premium product.

In 2014-15 the industry carried out a strategic planning exercise with the objective to create an achievable, focused and action oriented strategic plan that:

•     clearly defines the future direction of the NZ Blackcurrant industry

•     provides guiding principles for BCNZ’s investment of grower collected levies

•     prioritises the activities, to ensure that BCNZ effectively drives the desired change in the NZ blackcurrant industry

As a 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

And the Mission of BCNZ in achieving this is: “To inspire, co-ordinate and drive meaningful partnerships between New Zealand Blackcurrant growers, processors, marketers and researchers

Source: Blackcurrants NZ Inc.

 6.14.2  Blackcurrant exports

Blackcurrant exports had a combined value of $12.7 million in 2016, lower than the total 2014 value of $15.9 million. Both frozen and individually quick frozen blackcurrants showed decreases over the period, while “Other” blackcurrant exports showed nearly a tenfold increase driven by exports to China.

The main blackcurrant-based export commodity is frozen juice concentrate, which was worth around $9 million in 2016 a decrease from the $13.5 million in 2014. Frozen juice concentrate is an ingredient in drinks such as Ribena®, and it is noted that exports to Malaysia (where previously GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and now Frucor Beverages parent company Suntory Beverage and Food) have a 3rd party producing Ribena®) reflect this. The global nutraceutical market remains a focus for blackcurrant industry growth.

Table 6.14.1: Frozen blackcurrant concentrate (2009.89.20.15, 2009.89.30.25) export markets 2014-16 (year ending June, 1,000L and $NZ FOB)

Market

2014

2015

2016

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

 

Malaysia

788

9,569,047

475

5,425,077

612

6,932,162

 

Japan

104

1,191,838

86

981,671

67

684,051

 

Australia

145

1,122,707

80

508,193

145

658,369

 

Philippines

57

693,260

57

771,417

38

447,448

 

United States of America

40

270,415

1

10,912

55

226,427

 

Barbados

20

82,852

27

131,513

27

151,149

 

Taiwan

65

493,196

2

27,107

14

117,452

 

China

0

0

0

0

6

49,194

 

Trinidad & Tobago

0

0

0

0

8

47,563

 

Indonesia

0

0

0

0

1

11,964

 

European Union

1

12,968

1

11,407

0.1

1,146

 

Korea

14

104,110

0.02

164

0

0

 

Thailand

9

35,292

0

0

0

0

 

Total

1,242

$13,575,685

730

$7,867,461

974

$9,326,925

 

% change (yr/yr)

6%

3%

-41%

-42%

33%

19%

 
                 

Volume = 1,000L

Source: Statistics New Zealand

 

Exports of individually quick frozen (IQF) blackcurrants were worth $1.9 million in 2016 similar to the 2014 values. Values increased to $2.5 million in 2015 driven by increased exports to China, Korea, Thailand and Indonesia. Japan has replaced China as the main export market for IQF blackcurrants.

Table 6.14.2: Individually Quick Frozen blackcurrant (0811.20.09.21) export markets 2014-16 (year ending June, tonnes and $NZ FOB)

Market

2014

2015

2016

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Japan

602

1,575,726

334

1,162,159

373

1,220,645

China

15

45,309

339

1,005,771

97

356,507

Korea

15

37,965

55

203,124

45

211,789

Taiwan

16

60,031

0.3

2,266

22

111,793

Thailand

0

0

7

24,186

0.4

3,334

Fiji

0.1

310

0.2

1,402

0.5

3,130

Myanmar

0

0

0

0

0.2

1,496

Singapore

0

0

0

0

0.05

354

Norfolk Island

0.1

354

0.04

306

0.04

235

Philippines

0

0

0

0

0.02

145

Viet Nam

0

0

0

0

0.002

1

Australia

12

60,673

0

0

0

0

Indonesia

0

0

7

37,295

0

0

United States of America

41

128,413

14

55,504

0

0

Total

701

$1,908,781

757

$2,492,013

539

$1,909,429

% change (yr/yr)

32%

22%

8%

31%

-29%

-23%

Source: Statistics New Zealand

 

Blackcurrant exports other than frozen concentrate or IQF have shown a notable increase since 2014 (Table 6.14.3). China, Japan and Australia are fluctuating important markets. “Other” blackcurrant exports showed export volume nearly doubled from 2014-2016 driven by an increase in exports to China. This category 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. This group of commodities has increased to $1.5 million for this reporting period. However, this is still down from its peak of $5.6 million in 2009. BCNZ have recently worked with NZ Customs & HEA to develop more HS codes to better describe the exported product forms.

 

Table 6.14.3: Other blackcurrant exports (0811.20.09.29 & 2008.99.31.01) export markets 2014-16 (year ending June, tonnes and $NZ FOB)

Market

2014

2015

2016

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

China

139

159,705

1,100

2,288,947

528

1,352,123

Korea

0

0

0

0

14

80,717

Australia

18

53,494

30

79,347

7

29,061

United States of America

0

0

0

0

0.5

12,480

Hong Kong

0

0

0

0

0.08

3,565

European Union

0

0

0

0

0.05

2,520

Japan

35

221,880

122

244,789

0.01

2,311

Pacific Islands

0

711

0

459

0.2

1,022

Viet Nam

0

0

0

0

0

1

Taiwan**

0.04

17,730

0.05

4,794

0

0

Malaysia

0.01

6,534

0

0

0

0

 Total

192

$460,054

1,252

$2,618,336

550

$1,483,800

% change (yr/yr)

-74%

-69%

551%

469%

-56%

-43%

Source: Statistics New Zealand

**The reason for this very high value of exports to Taiwan is not clear. It may be powder or other products, but the HS code descriptors do not allow this information to be extracted.