The most recent Pipfruit New Zealand Inc crop forecast, completed this week, indicates that
the NZ Braeburn export crop will be less than 3 million cases (54,000 tonnes) in 2012. This
represents a reduction of 27% on last year’s crop of more than 4 million cases.
“This low crop is a combination of a cooler summer producing smaller fruit but also growers
reacting to the high NZ dollar by sending their crop to process, thereby reducing risk,” said
Alan Pollard, Chief Executive of Pipfruit New Zealand.
For several seasons growers have received returns for their Braeburn crop below the cost of
production, even though the volume shipped has been steadily declining. “We have gone
from a high of eight million cartons exported in 2005 to this year’s crop of less than three
million,” Mr Pollard said. “This represents a significant change over a short time for a tree
The high dollar is not the only issue. Other apple varieties such as Jazz and Pink Lady have
also competed for market share with Braeburn. In addition, fruit consumption in Europe has
been slow for some months with consumers looking for bargains. Southern Hemisphere
suppliers have already responded by reducing Royal Gala exports to Europe by nearly 40%.
Exporters remain optimistic about the performance of Braeburn for 2012 with the reduced
volume. “Braeburn is an iconic NZ apple and there is good consumer demand for it in
Europe,” Mr Pollard said. “The fruit this year is highly coloured and has excellent texture and
eating quality. I am confident that this year’s smaller than predicted crop will be sold at
sustainable prices and that the variety will remain a key part of our international supply.”
The Braeburn sales window is just starting in Europe for 2012, with the first fruit now being
sold into wholesale markets. Supermarket programmes are likely to commence in mid June.
For more information contact
Alan Pollard, Chief Executive
Pipfruit New Zealand Inc
+64 6 873 7080