HEA - Buttercup Squash

Contact HEA

HEA Forms & Fees

Media Articles

HEA Frequently Asked Questions

HEA Members Area

6.9      Buttercup squash

6.9.1      Buttercup squash industry profile

In 2017/18 there were 25 growers, 9 pack houses and 11 exporters. The main growing areas for buttercup squash are Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, South Auckland, Manawatu / Horowhenua and Canterbury.

Buttercup squash is a prescribed product under the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority. The New Zealand Buttercup Squash Council (NZBSC) represents buttercup squash growers, packhouses, and exporters and facilitates industry programmes to maximise value for stakeholders. To achieve this the NZBSC implements four main programmes in quality management, research and development, market development initiatives, and industry development, co-ordination, and communication.

The Council operates from the offices of Horticulture New Zealand in Wellington (Business Manager – Owen Symmans, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., www.nzbsc.com).

6.9.2  Buttercup squash exports

Total buttercup squash exports remain very stable, with just a 0.8% increase in value in 2018, compared to 2016 exports. Japan remains the largest export market for buttercup squash with $39 million exported in 2018. This is a $5.8 million decrease (13%) on the value of 2016 exports to Japan, but is offset in part by large increases in exports to China (+320% by value), European Union (+360% by value) and Hong Kong (+420% by value). The second largest export market remains the Republic of Korea which saw a 20% increase in exports since 2016, from $11.8 million to $14.1 million. The increases to China, the EU and Hong Kong have helped to diversify the market for buttercup squash - Japan and Korea accounted for a combined 98% of exports in 2016, dropping to 91% of exports in 2018. New Zealand grown buttercup squash has a number of competitors, with Mexico, Tonga, New Caledonia, the USA, and Australia all exporting to Japan at various times during the New Zealand export window of late December to May. Mexico is the most significant competitor in the Japanese market. The New Zealand industry is currently exploring market development opportunities to broaden its options.

Table 6.9.1: Buttercup squash (0709.93.00.10) export markets 2016-18 (year ending June, tonnes and $NZ FOB)

Market

2016

2017

2018

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Japan

66,264

44,945,683

51,819

40,554,257

58,408

39,182,886

Korea

22,321

11,822,601

20,694

12,637,727

24,125

14,135,257

China

871

814,658

2,035

2,009,426

3,592

3,425,869

European Union

246

245,328

492

561,508

1,244

1,135,834

Hong Kong

102

96,000

135

136,181

549

499,377

Taiwan

216

203,181

218

217,778

184

169,541

United States of America

53

56,518

75

92,696

48

64,120

Russia

0

0

4

3,817

33

17,004

Malaysia

0

0

0

0

13

10,420

French Polynesia

0

0

0

2,496

1

4,841

Pacific Islands

0

0

0

58

0

1,029

Fiji

0

0

0

0

0

112

Singapore

0

0

0

728

0

0

Indonesia

11

6,774

0

0

0

0

Total

90,085

$58,190,743

75,472

$56,216,672

88,197

$58,646,290

% change (yr/yr)

6%

-1%

-16%

-3%

17%

4%

Source: Statistics New Zealand

6.9.3  Barriers to buttercup squash exports

Cost of tariffs

Under the Korea NZ FTA, the tariff for NZ product exported to Korea within the months December-May will phase out to zero by 2019. This has reduced from 16.2% in 2016 to 5.4% in 2018. Any product supplied outside this seasonal window will incur a 27% tariff. Japan maintained its 3% tariff on NZ product over the 2017-18 export season however, under CPTPP, this will be eliminated on entry-into-force on 30 December 2018. The free trade agreement between Mexico and Japan has reduced tariffs on Mexican squash to 0%, giving Mexico a substantial price advantage in this market. The CPTPP will neutralise this previous advantage. Estimated tariffs fell by $1.2 million from $3.3 million in 2016. The $2.1 million estimated cost of tariffs in 2018 equates to an average $84,095 per buttercup squash grower.

Table 6.9.2: Cost of buttercup squash tariffs (based on 2018 FOB value)

Country

Tariff

Value

Estimated cost of tariff ($)

Japan

3%

39,182,886

1,175,487

Korea

5.4%

14,135,257

763,304

China

0%

3,425,869

0

European Union

12.8%

1,135,834

145,387

Taiwan

9%

169,541

15,259

Hong Kong

0%

499,377

0

United States of America

1.5c/kg

64,120

1,007

Russia

10.0%

17,004

1,700

French Polynesia

4.0%

4,841

194

Fiji

32.0%

112

36

Total

3.6%

$58,634,841

$2,102,373

Note: For Korea a reducing seasonal tariff applies (refer comment above)

SPS market access barriers

Japan – The frequency of fumigation continues to be an issue adding unnecessary cost to NZ exporters. The industry has invested heavily to maintain market access due to interceptions of a non-host quarantine pest (the Burnt Pine Longhorn Beetle - Arhopalus ferus). While successful to date, ongoing vigilance and investment in careful management is required.

Vietnam – The case for buttercup squash access to Vietnam is currently being reviewed by MPI and early indications suggest that a request to Vietnam will be made at the next available opportunity.

Thailand – A case to request buttercup squash access to Vietnam has been submitted to MPI.