Zespri guidance forecasts an increase in per hectare returns for growers

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Zespri has today released its first guidance to growers for the 2024/25 season, with strengthened per hectare returns off the back of strong demand and this season’s improved yields.

Zespri releases preliminary guidance early in the season to give growers an indication of the forthcoming season, and this guidance is then refined as more information becomes available throughout the season including on fruit performance measures such as fruit quality.

Zespri CEO Dan Mathieson says the industry is focused on starting the season strongly including incentivising growers to harvest their fruit as early as possible to get sales programmes underway.

“It’s important that with a big crop we start our season strongly and deliver a good amount of early season fruit to our customers so that we can capitalise on early sales opportunities.

“It’s been great to have many of our major retailers visit us in New Zealand in recent months, sharing the strong demand their consumers have for our fruit, and we’re looking forward to meeting that demand with more volume this season.

“That’s started already with our RubyRed Kiwifruit sales programmes underway this week in Japan. It’s a great way for us to start given the variety generates real excitement, particularly amongst our younger consumers, and given the fruit is only available for a limited time.

Mr Mathieson says Zespri is expecting strong growth across all kiwifruit varieties this season, with around 190 million trays of kiwifruit to be shipped to markets around the world.

“After a slightly slower than expected start to the season due to fruit maturity, harvest is starting to build with around 15 million trays submitted so far, and we’re expecting this to increase rapidly.

“We are also ramping up our marketing activity now so that when our fruit arrives, we’re able to sell it quickly and capitalise on the strong demand. This is particularly important given the 2023/24 season’s earlier finish driven by lower volumes and the constrained Northern Hemisphere supply which prevented us from providing continuity to our retail partners.

Mr Mathieson says this season’s guidance includes a lift in per hectare returns, with the bottom of the per hectare guidance range for all categories other than Sweet Green sitting above the final 2023/24 forecast per hectare returns.

“The last couple of years have been particularly challenging growing seasons and it’s really positive that we’ve had better conditions this year.

“Yields are up and that’s expected to contribute to per hectare returns lifting considerably from last season which will be positive news for growers.”

Mr Mathieson says downside risks covered in the guidance include more challenging market conditions and the impact of unfavourable foreign exchange movements with the Japanese Yen, which is expected to particularly impact Organic, Sweet Green and RubyRed categories which have a higher proportion of sales in Japan. 

Pools 2024/25 March OGR Guidance (Per Tray) 2023/24 February Forecast (Per Tray) 2024/25 March OGR Guidance (Per Ha) 2023/24 February Forecast (Per Ha)
Zespri Green $7.00 - $8.50 $9.44 $75,000-$91,000 $64,930
Zespri Organic Green $9.50 - $11.50 $12.18 $67,000-$81,000 $54,516
Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit $10.00 - $11.50 $12.62 $145,000-$166,000 $143,537
Zespri Organic SunGold Kiwifruit $12.00 - $14.00 $14.21 $130,000-$151,000 $109,640
Zespri Green14 $8.00 - $9.50 $10.31 $45,000-$54,000 $48,326
Zespri RubyRed Kiwifruit $16.00 - $18.00 $19.05 $50,000-$56,000 $41,057

* The 2023/24 February Forecast per tray figure for RubyRed Kiwifruit has been restated from $26.54 to $19.05 for comparison, to account for NSS Size 46 fruit being included in Standard Supply this season.

NB: OGR per hectare ranges are industry averages, based on current producing hectares and associated average yields data and may change significantly once crop volumes and producing orchard data is finalised. Per hectare results this season will vary across growers due to the impact of weather events. For RubyRed growers, per hectare OGRs are also likely to be variable due to the impact of vine maturity on yields and profile.