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6.7      Summerfruit (cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, plums)

6.7.1      Summerfruit industry profile

Summerfruit is the term used in New Zealand to collectively describe cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines and plums.

Funded by grower levies under the Commodity Levies Act, Summerfruit New Zealand is also the recognised product group for summerfruit under the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority Act. Summerfruit has been subject to export licensing since November 1987. The industry representative body is Summerfruit New Zealand. Summerfruit New Zealand represents grower interests, managing a research programme, providing strategic direction, growing relationships between growers, marketers, retailers and exporters, and promotional activities.

Summerfruit New Zealand has a strong focus on export, with a market access portfolio overseen by a Summerfruit New Zealand director and implemented by a contracted market access manager. Several official assurance programmes (especially negotiated export programmes or negotiated export protocols) have been developed, and the industry operates one industry management programme and a residue assurance programme to minimise risks of non-compliance in export markets. The main priorities fall into three categories:

 

Focus

Current activity

New markets

Opening up markets that we don’t currently have access to

  • Application for apricots to China
  • Access to Myanmar

Maintaining access to existing markets

Fighting to maintain or regain access to a market where the import or phytosanitary conditions have changed, affecting the ability to export

  • Restoring access for peaches, nectarines and plums to Thailand
  • Managing the transition to Australia's Compliance-Based Intervention Scheme

Improving access to existing markets

Challenging unjustified aspects of importing countries

  • Reduction of the frequency of audits by Japanese inspectors
  • Change the phytosanitaryi nspection requirement by South Korea from 2% to the standard 600 inspections

The industry comprises around 280 growers with a total of 2,350 hectares of orchards. The main growing areas are Central Otago (about two-thirds of the planted area) and Hawke’s Bay (about one-third). Summerfruit production is expanding, with large plantings of cherries now starting to drive up export volumes, while there are increased plantings of apricots in Central Otago and Hawke’s Bay as new New Zealand-bred varieties are released.

Figures from the last season show that cherries are still by far the most important summerfruit crop by value (Table 6.7.1). Central Otago produces most of the cherries grown in New Zealand, of which the majority is exported. Small volumes of pre-Christmas cherries are exported from Marlborough. Apricot exports are also very important to Central Otago.

Production in Hawke’s Bay focuses on the local market, with very little summerfruit being exported. Traditionally not considered a cherry producing area, Hawke’s Bay has seen a rapid expansion of pre-Christmas cherry production. Cherry varieties grown in Hawke’s Bay are more suited to the warmer climate and fewer winter chill days, and do not attract the premium returns achieved for Central Otago-grown cherries. While this fruit is consumed within New Zealand, there is potential for early season exports to develop. This will provide early access to key Asian markets.

Table 6.7.1: Value of domestic and export summerfruit sales 2019-2020 season

 

Apricots

Cherries

Nectarines

Peaches

Plums

Total

New Zealand market 1

$6,062,186

$12,373,406

$13,486,455

$10,231,253

$7,405,060

$49,558,360

Export

$3,695,460

$51,333,502

$51,290

$325,617

$112,930

$55,518,799

Total value New Zealand market and export 2

$9,757,646

$63,706,908

$13,537,745

$10,556,870

$7,517,990

$105,077,159

% Value NZ market

62%

19%

100%

97%

98%

47%

% Value export

38%

81%

0%

3%

2%

53%

1 Source: Summerfruit New Zealand,   

2 Does not include processed summerfruit

 

Exports

Cherries. Following steady growth in the value of cherry exports to 2018, export values have declined by 39% to $51.3 million in 2020, based on weather related production declines. Taiwan remains the largest export market for New Zealand cherry exports, taking 42% of the exports by value. Exports to this market have decreased by nearly 28% over this reporting period, dropping to $21.4 million in 2020. Exports to other key markets have also experienced a decline from 2018 to 2020 including China - down 60% to $11.4 million, Thailand - down 49% to $4 million, and USA – down 41% to $1.08 million. Exports have increased by 179% to Japan to just over $1 million. Collectively Taiwan and China account for 64% by value of all cherry exports.

Table 6.7.2: Cherry (0809.29.00.00) export markets 2018-2020 (year ending June, tonnes and $NZ FOB)

Market

2018

2019

2020

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Taiwan

1,645

29,719,286

1,421

31,205,921

965

21,484,994

China

1,509

28,712,064

875

19,152,408

514

11,396,049

Vietnam

400

6,561,837

292

5,804,255

402

7,473,539

Thailand

580

8,064,501

233

4,157,028

219

4,096,713

United States of America

199

1,830,017

67

718,492

78

1,078,248

Japan

30

380,703

51

735,186

70

1,061,627

Hong Kong

153

2,813,789

82

2,010,444

39

957,806

Malaysia

66

1,140,959

93

1,975,142

44

935,426

Singapore

97

1,513,646

39

743,918

51

858,365

South Korea

181

2,111,330

80

1,134,531

51

703,642

Philippines

17

311,146

15

240,347

31

512,468

Cambodia

21

321,958

12

223,039

12

212,274

Canada

3

46,521

2

30,221

16

174,637

India

7

68,781

9

110,471

6

118,214

New Caledonia

1

11,804

1

10,996

5

87,366

Myanmar

0

0

1

31,375

3

48,023

Indonesia

7

94,102

0

0

2

40,958

Australia

0

0

19

203,763

4

34,330

European Union

17

433,313

11

323,230

1

22,370

Kuwait

0

0

1

8,159

1

12,532

Pacific Islands

1

3,420

0

7,155

1

11,764

French Polynesia

0

1,547

2

36,948

0

8,188

Fiji

0

1,067

0

416

0

3,969

Mongolia

0

0

3

61,666

0

0

Macau

0

0

1

38,866

0

0

Saudi Arabia

0

0

1

6,220

0

0

Total

4,935

$84,141,791

3,311

$68,970,197

2,515

$51,333,502

% change (yr/yr)

23%

18%

-33%

-18%

-24%

-26%

 

Apricots. Exports of apricots have increased by 30% to $3.7 million in 2020. Much of this growth is a result of increasing exports to Australia, the primary market for New Zealand grown apricots. Nearly 80% by volume of apricots are exported to Australia. The value of apricots exported to other markets has fluctuated from 2018 with exports to the USA down overall by 35% to $331,929, while exports to the United Arab Emirates has increased by 548% to $173,883 in 2020.

Table 6.7.3: Apricot (0809.10.00.00) export markets 2018-2020 (year ending June, tonnes and $NZ FOB)

Market

2018

2019

2020

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Australia

445

2,036,062

299

1,755,366

539

2,794,452

United States of America

56

511,686

42

262,797

62

331,929

United Arab Emirates

4

26,824

1

9,520

31

173,833

European Union

32

208,942

0

0

17

124,388

Saudi Arabia

0

0

0

0

14

98,883

Vietnam

0

0

0

0

3

60,171

Taiwan

0

0

0

0

3

44,588

Kuwait

0

0

0

0

4

37,270

Qatar

0

0

1

13,467

3

20,388

India

0

1,745

0

0

1

4,996

New Caledonia

3

26,374

1

3,510

0

2,076

Fiji

1

6,600

0

1,487

0

1,612

Pacific Islands

0

2,361

0

3,546

0

874

French Polynesia

0

1,998

0

276

0

0

Thailand

1

6,893

0

0

0

0

Hong Kong

1

3,205

0

0

0

0

Switzerland

0

2,840

0

0

0

0

Malaysia

0

1,280

0

0

0

0

Total

543

$2,836,810

344

$2,049,969

677

$3,695,460

% change (yr/yr)

-55%

-46%

-37%

-28%

97%

80%

 

Peaches, nectarines, and plums. In comparison to cherries and apricots, peaches nectarines and plums are minor export crops (over 90% of sales are into the domestic market). From 2016 to 2018 peach exports were stable around $6-700,000, from 2018 to 2020 the value of peach exports has dropped by 46% to $325,617. The value of exports of nectarines and plums has also declined over this reporting period by 59% and 65% respectively. Both crops which show significant year to year variation in volumes. Peaches, nectarines and plums each have one or two major markets: peaches – Hong Kong and Singapore; nectarines – New Caledonia and Pacific Island countries; and plums – to the USA.

Table 6.7.4: Peach (0809.30.00.09) export markets 2018-2020 (year ending June, tonnes and $NZ FOB)

Market

2018

2019

2020

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Singapore

32

192,611

17

117,895

24

150,457

Taiwan

13

70,750

9

43,491

14

64,257

Australia

14

72,270

22

123,558

11

42,245

New Caledonia

4

13,563

0

0

4

19,411

Pacific Islands

0

5,021

2

10,538

2

13,018

United States of America

0

1,571

4

19,069

3

11,812

French Polynesia

1

1,874

0

2,311

2

9,450

Fiji

1

3,271

1

4,834

2

8,786

Hong Kong

38

227,430

11

69,735

1

6,181

Malaysia

2

12,380

5

32,512

0

0

Total

105

$600,741

71

$423,943

62

$325,617

% change (yr/yr)

-21%

-14%

-32%

-29%

-12%

-23%

 

Table 6.7.5: Nectarine (0809.30.00.01) export markets 2018-2020 (year ending June, tonnes, and $NZ FOB)

Market

2018

2019

2020

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

New Caledonia

3

6,580

2

9,032

4

18,413

Pacific Islands

1

5,838

2

12,866

3

13,222

French Polynesia

0

1,493

0

986

2

9,519

Fiji

1

5,211

1

6,844

1

6,604

Taiwan

9

36,322

2

5,627

0

2,162

Australia

2

12,570

0

0

0

1,187

Papua New Guinea

0

7

0

0

0

183

United States of America

0

0

5

21,707

0

0

Malaysia

3

11,891

1

5,291

0

0

Hong Kong

6

34,034

0

0

0

0

Singapore

2

8,886

0

0

0

0

Switzerland

0

1,000

0

0

0

0

Total

28

$123,832

13

$62,353

10

$51,290

% change (yr/yr)

-44%

-28%

-54%

-50%

-19%

-18%

 

Table 6.7.6: Plum (0809.40.00.01) export markets 2018-2020 (year ending June, tonnes and $NZ FOB)

Market

2018

2019

2020

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

United States of America

41

181,309

26

118,859

29

81,826

Fiji

13

43,747

14

60,370

3

13,352

New Caledonia

3

11,066

2

8,882

2

10,509

Pacific Islands

0

6,169

3

13,285

1

6,463

French Polynesia

1

4,722

0

1,284

0

432

Papua New Guinea

0

7

0

166

0

306

Australia

0

0

0

618

0

42

Malaysia

0

3,220

1

6,265

0

0

Hong Kong

0

182

0

1

0

0

China

8

66,667

0

0

0

0

Taiwan

1

9,749

0

0

0

0

Total

69

$326,838

47

$209,730

35

$112,930

% change (yr/yr)

-3%

8%

-32%

-36%

-26%

-46%

 

Barriers to export

Cost of Tariffs

Cherry exports represent 70% of tariffs on summerfruit, largely due to a 30% tariff into India and 2.5% into Japan. Exports into India represent only 0.2% of FOB value but contributes 50% of the tariff costs for cherries. There are no tariffs on cherries into the major markets of Taiwan and China. Under CPTPP, the 2.5% tariff into Japan will phase down to zero by 2023.

EU tariffs on New Zealand summerfruit are high compared to those imposed on other Southern Hemisphere exporters. For example, New Zealand apricots are subject to a 20% tariff while apricots from Chile and South Africa are not subject to any tariff, and has led decreased exports to the EU.

Table 6.7.7: Cost of summerfruit tariffs (based on 2020 FOB value)

Tariff item

Country

Tariff rate

Value

Estimated cost of tariff ($)

Cherries

Taiwan

0%

21,484,994

0

 

China

0%

11,396,049

0

 

Vietnam

0%

7,473,539

0

 

Thailand

0%

4,096,713

0

 

United States of America

0%

1,078,248

0

 

Japan

2.5%

1,061,627

26,541

 

Hong Kong

0%

957,806

0

 

Malaysia

0%

935,426

0

 

Singapore

0%

858,365

0

 

South Korea

0%

703,642

0

 

Philippines

0%

512,468

0

 

Canada

0%

174,637

0

 

India

30%

118,214

35,464

 

New Caledonia

5%

87,366

4,368

 

Indonesia

0%

40,958

0

 

Australia

0%

34,330

0

 

European Union

12%

22,370

2,684

 

Kuwait

0%

12,532

0

 

French Polynesia

8%

8,188

655

 

Fiji

5%

3,969

198

 

Total Cherries

0.1%

$51,061,441

$69,911

Apricots

Australia

0%

2,794,452

0

 

United States of America

0.2c/kg

331,929

195

 

United Arab Emirates

0%

173,833

0

 

European Union

20%

124,388

24,878

 

Vietnam

0%

60,171

0

 

Taiwan

0%

44,588

0

 

Kuwait

0%

37,270

0

 

India

30%

4,996

1,499

 

New Caledonia

5%

2,076

104

 

Fiji

0%

1,612

0

 

Total Apricots

1%

$3,674,198

$26,675

Peaches

Singapore

0%

150,457

0

 

Taiwan

0%

64,257

0

 

Australia

0%

42,245

0

 

New Caledonia

5%

19,411

971

 

United States of America

0%

11,812

0

 

French Polynesia

8%

9,450

756

 

Fiji

0%

8,786

0

 

Hong Kong

0%

6,181

0

 

Total Peaches

1%

312,599

1,727

Nectarines

New Caledonia

5%

18,413

921

 

French Polynesia

8%

9,519

762

 

Fiji

0%

6,604

0

 

Taiwan

0%

2,162

0

 

Australia

0%

1,187

0

 

Total Nectarines

4%

$37,885

$1,682

Plums

United States of America

0%

81,826

0

 

Fiji

0%

13,352

0

 

New Caledonia

5%

10,509

525

 

French Polynesia

0%

432

0

 

Australia

0%

42

0

 

Total Plums

0.5%

$106,161

$525

 

Total Summerfruit

0.2%

$55,192,284

$100,520

 

SPS market access barriers

The industry has an active market access programme, but there has been little progress in most cases. The main success in 2019/20 was South Korea informally indicating it would reassess the pathway audit requirement for the cherry export programme, which previously took place every three years. South Korea has confirmed it will be recommending the removal of the ongoing audits, but there is the opportunity to reimpose these if any pathway issues occur.

Australia. All summerfruit became eligible for entry under the Compliance-Based Intervention Scheme (see section 7.8.3 for details) in August 2019. The summerfruit industry used the CBIS programme for the first time in the 2019/20 season, with overall positive feedback.

The key issues with CBIS experienced in the 2019/20 season were around unidentifiable pests being detected on arrival in Australia. This resulted in few consignments achieving reduced inspection frequencies. Many of these interceptions have arisen from incomplete pest identification and have resulted in fumigation. In early 2020, Australia reclassified as actionable several pest groupings that were previously considered non-actionable. Discussions are continuing between MPI and Australian officials about the justification for these classifications.

Australia is the most important export market for New Zealand apricots. The removal of OPI and introduction of CBIS is considered a trade risk for apricot exports. Apricots have a relatively short shelf life so any delays at the border can significantly impact fruit quality. In addition, if pests are detected on arrival in Australia the only options are fumigation, reshipment or destruction. Methyl bromide fumigation severely damages fruit quality and further reduces shelf life.

China. Industry is looking at expanding access to this market. New Zealand has access for cherries and plums, due to historic trade in these crops, and there is historic access for Japanese apricot (Prunus mume). A new risk analysis is needed for New Zealand apricots (P. armeniaca) before they can be exported. Summerfruit New Zealand has proposed that simultaneously negotiating access for apricots, peaches and nectarines would significantly speed up the access request for New Zealand summerfruit. An access request has been prioritised by MPI for apricots to China, but for all summerfruit to be considered a revised prioritisation request would be needed. China has applied for access to New Zealand for all summerfruit crops.

Indonesia. Industry is looking at the viability of expanding this market. Cherries and peaches are included in Indonesia’s Country Recognition Agreement (CRA) list (see section 7.17.3). Summerfruit New Zealand worked with MPI to clarify the requirements for adding all summerfruit (apricots, nectarines and plums) during the 2021 CRA renewal. Ultimately it was decided not to pursue the addition of other summerfruit commodities now, but the industry has registered its interest in having these commodities added at the next CRA revision in 2024.

Japan. The cost of accessing this market threatens its viability. The official assurance programme (for management of codling moth) has been very successful, but Japan still requires that an inspector visits New Zealand annually to review the programme at a cost to the New Zealand industry. This is contrary to the requirements of ISPM No. 20 (5.1.5.2) which states that “These types of audit procedure should not be applied as a permanent measure and should be considered satisfied as soon as the procedures in the exporting country have been validated.” Japan has been asked to modify this requirement but has not yet changed its regulations. There has been no progress on these discussions.

Participation in the programme has reduced significantly due to the high costs, of which the inspector’s visits are a significant proportion. There are concerns that exports may cease as a result.

Myanmar. Market now open. In 2017 the industry provided technical information to support access for all summerfruit to Myanmar, and access was granted in 2019 with minimal import requirements.

Russia. New regulations have closed this market. From 2017 Russia has required summerfruit to be sourced from production sites free from brown rot. New Zealand proposed alternative measures, but these were not accepted. The regime of testing and isolation was considered to be unviable, with a reasonably high chance of failure, so in the meantime it was decided not to develop an official assurance programme.

Thailand. New Zealand is seeking new access for peaches, plums and nectarines. It was originally believed Thailand would assess peaches and nectarines concurrently, but Thailand confirmed it was unwilling to process multiple requests. Summerfruit New Zealand prioritised peaches for initial assessment. The market access data package was provided in 2017, and discussions continue.