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Kiwifruit in Charts: After roller coaster prices, how will Italy enter the U.S. market?


Looking over the kiwifruit data published by the USDA for Italian imports, the first thing that struck me was the variability in the pricing over the last couple of years. Italy does follow the much more stable California, indicating there is a relationship between the two origins, so I wanted to take a bit of a look at what the USDA tells us about Italian fruit on the markets as we head into the Northern Hemisphere season.

US Kiwifruit Shipping Point prices by origin
(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

Through the volumes, we can start to see a story form that helps explain this wild ride.

From the 2011-12 season to 2014-15, imports of Italian kiwifruit grew very steadily by an average annual rate of 5.9%. That period also saw prices generally go up, which is usually a great sign for any category. The 2015-16 season, however, saw a dramatic increase from 51.9 million pounds the previous season to 83.6 million pounds, sending a shock through the system and knocking prices down to the lowest levels seen for half a decade. Last year saw an average price of US$20.54 per case, a 50% increase on 2015-16. This recovery came at a price though – due to frosts and pests Italy sent just 46.8 million pounds, down 44% from 2015-16.

Italian kiwifruit movements in the U.S.
(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

As a side note, I am very happy to see that as of last season, the USDA began reporting U.S. values from the California Kiwifruit Commission to cover internal production much more completely. It’s still early days to be able to derive objective trends with only one year of complete data, but we are very much looking forward to covering California’s 2018-19 season next year.

US Kiwifruit Movements by origin
(Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics)

 
Written by: Colin Fain
Original published in FreshFruitPortal.com on October 02, 2018 (Link)

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