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6.16      Persimmons

6.16.1      Persimmon industry profile

Persimmons have been grown in New Zealand since the 1870s. Today, the persimmon growing regions are Gisborne, Auckland, Northland, Waikato, and a small amount in the Bay of Plenty. The total production volume in 2020 was 2,000 tonnes from a planted area of 136 hectares. In 2020, the export industry consists of 30 growers, seven packhouses and eight licensed exporters.

The main variety of persimmon grown and exported is the non-astringent variety Fuyu. The persimmon season runs from late April to July. Improved knowledge of persimmon storage has seen export sales extend into August, as advancements have been made in storage and shelf life. Initially dependent on high-cost airfreight to export markets for nearly 60% of exports, improved stock management and newer practices have in recent years lengthened storage and shelf life enabling more cost-efficient sea freight to be used for approximately 70% of exports.

Persimmons are a prescribed product under the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority. The Persimmon Industry Council is the industry representative body and manages the export persimmon industry.

 

Exports

Exports of persimmons have increased by 12% in value, and 22% in volume, since 2018. In 2018, the main markets were Australia and Thailand, these have been joined by Singapore and Vietnam in 2020. These four markets take 75% of total exports. The value of the Australian market has remained constant (0% change) despite a 43% increased volume entering the market. In contrast, the Singapore market has increased 48% in value on a 19% increase in volume. Other markets remain steady or have increased slightly in volume and value.

The return per tonne of export volume has decreased by 8% since 2018, and now averages $5,696 per tonne. This decrease has primarily been driven in Australia by a return to an average price of $5,047/tonne, similar to 2016 ($5,192/tonne), but lower that the $7,224/tonne reached in 2018. This is slightly offset by an increase in the Singapore market where the average price per tonne has increased 25% from $4801/tonne in 2018 to $5990/tonne in 2020.

As has been noted in previous editions of this report, the volume of fruit sent to individual markets varies from year to year and is dictated by fruit standards (e.g. fruit size) as well as local growing conditions.

Table 6.16.1: Persimmon (0810.70.00.00) export markets 2018-2020 (year ending June, tonnes and $NZ FOB)

Market

2018

2019

2020

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Australia

507

3,662,732

695

3,633,751

725

3,659,226

Singapore

264

1,267,540

245

1,377,111

313

1,874,896

Thailand

328

2,097,643

301

2,001,097

211

1,400,511

Vietnam

31

258,791

41

337,909

157

1,056,646

Malaysia

145

675,880

153

770,995

134

666,952

Hong Kong

133

808,521

126

839,297

98

655,278

China

15

99,450

19

45,902

45

290,679

Canada

33

145,245

68

358,197

51

288,098

Indonesia

26

153,463

28

178,502

22

165,402

Japan

9

58,875

13

84,496

40

160,448

Philippines

21

123,983

16

84,465

24

148,858

French Polynesia

17

98,719

16

103,615

20

128,367

United States of America

0

0

8

39,920

22

109,714

Taiwan

3

23,277

2

16,957

7

43,097

Pacific Islands

1

3,195

16

72,119

6

31,261

New Caledonia

4

23,307

2

11,205

5

29,636

Brunei Darussalam

6

40,333

3

24,562

2

9,958

Fiji

2

7,574

1

1,849

0

652

Papua New Guinea

0

0

0

106

0

491

Myanmar

0

0

2

16,895

0

0

United Arab Emirates

1

6,992

0

0

0

0

Total

1,546

$9,555,520

1,755

$9,998,950

1,882

$10,720,170

% change (yr/yr)

3%

14%

14%

5%

7%

7%

 

Barriers to export

Cost of tariffs

No tariffs are imposed on persimmons to the major markets. Taiwan has had a decrease in the tariff rate to 4.4% which will be phased out to zero in 2021. Under CPTPP the tariff into Japan has been removed. A 4% tariff remains in place for Indonesia. The estimated cost of tariffs in 2020 equates to an average $756 for each of the 30 persimmon growers.

Table 6.16.2: Cost of persimmon tariffs (based on 2020 FOB value)

Market

Tariff rate

Value

Estimated cost of tariff ($)

Australia

0%

3,659,226

0

Singapore

0%

1,874,896

0

Thailand

0%

1,400,511

0

Vietnam

0%

1,056,646

0

Malaysia

0%

666,952

0

Hong Kong

0%

655,278

0

China

0%

290,679

0

Canada

0%

288,098

0

Indonesia

4%

165,402

6,616

Japan

0%

160,448

0

Philippines

0%

148,858

0

French Polynesia

8%

128,367

10,269

United States of America

2%

109,714

2,414

Taiwan

4.4%

43,097

1,896

New Caledonia

5%

29,636

1,482

Fiji

0%

652

0

Total

0.2%

$10,678,460

$22,677

 

SPS and other market access barriers

Australia. The largest market but threatened by changes in import conditions. Australia has been the largest export market for some years. Persimmons were shipped to Australia under the OPI programme, but this ceased in mid-March 2020 (see section 7.8.3 for details). The removal of the OPI programme is a trade risk for persimmon exports.

Trade is continuing, but if pests are detected on arrival the only options are fumigation, reshipment or destruction. Methyl bromide fumigation damages fruit quality and shelf life. Vapormate™ (ethyl formate, a compound exempt from maximum residue limits) is used as a pre-shipment clean-up, and while not an official phytosanitary treatment it does give exporters greater confidence of meeting the strict Australian phytosanitary standards. The Persimmon Industry Council agreed to make pre-shipment treatment with Vapormate™ a requirement for all licensed exporters via its Export Marketing Strategy (EMS) for exporting to Australia in 2020, which proved to be successful. The persimmon industry has applied to enter Australia’s new CBIS scheme and is working with MPI to progress this.

China. A new market with potential. Access protocols were signed in June 2015. MPI and industry developed an official assurance programme. The first exports were sent in 2017 after audit by Chinese officials. Export volumes remain small while the industry becomes familiar with the programme requirements but are expected to grow steadily in future years with more exporters becoming involved.

USA. A new market with potential. The Persimmon Industry Council requested access using a systems approach for pest management, and the USDA rules were published in 2017. The industry and MPI then worked to have a workplan and protocols agreed before the 2018 season. Growers, facilities and exporters became compliant in time, and fruit passed the post-harvest cold treatment. The first small shipments were sent in 2018, and volumes increased through to 2020. This is another market in which industry is looking for steady growth.