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Shipping rates affect competitiveness of California kiwi fruit

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-01-17  Views: 8
Core Tip: Supply of the tangy-sweet kiwi fruit are good in California right now.
Supply of the tangy-sweet kiwi fruit are good in California right now. “The supply of kiwi is somewhat better than this time last year because there’s a larger crop this year,” says Wayne Brandt of Reedley, Ca.’s Brandt Farms, which just celebrated its 75th anniversary, who notes the California harvest season runs approximately October to November. “We only have California Hayward kiwis. The size of the fruit is a little bit larger though—I think it’s all just weather related because here in central California we always have ideal growing conditions.” With kiwis sizing by the count found in a standard container, Brandt notes the average size of this crop is about one size over normal.

Kiwi expansion?
Kiwis are enjoying a good run as an attractive commodity to grow since more and more growers are turning to kiwis in the region. “We haven’t extended our acreage on kiwis but there have been a lot of new plantings here in our area of central California by other growers,” says Brandt.

Pressure from afar
With good supply, Brandt says prices are holding steady for now. “In the next couple of weeks, I think it’ll remain normal but it’ll be all determined by how the crop cleans up before the Southern Hemisphere kiwis start to come into the market,” he says. Other regions growing kiwis include Chile and New Zealand in the southern Hemisphere, but also Italy, Spain, France, Greece and the Middle East. And while Brandt characterizes competition the same as always, shipping rates affect prices, of course. “Freight is cheaper from Italy to the East Coast by boat than it is by truck from the West Coast of the United States to the East Coast,” he says. That said, “we’re getting demand for kiwis from all segments of the market right now,” he adds.

 
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