Welcome to the summer edition of the Just Avocados newsletter.
I am pleased to communicate that as of 12 December we were 85% through our export harvest programme and well on track to finish by the third week of January as scheduled.
It has been an interesting season with the changing supply dynamics out of Western Australia painting a different picture in the Australian market than what we have been accustomed too previously. Also, there has been a stronger presence in the South East Asian markets from both South America and other NZ exporters who have historically focused on the Australian Market.
Fruit size has brought other challenges with nearly 30% of the crop sitting between 140grams to 180 grams. This outcome has played some part in the Asian markets not performing as well as they have in previous seasons and has also impacted local market returns.
I am aware that we have a large percentage of growers hanging fruit under 140grams, note that there will be a market for this later in season (if the fruit sizes); however, please note that there has been recent changes to other marketers’ flow plans as they look to market right through to late February, this may push the local market opportunity out till March/April. We will keep you updated of the market conditions via our fortnightly e-bulletins.
Let’s focus on the positives of the season: we grew our market share in Asia – as was a key strategy for the marketing team at the start of the season – with 40% of our programme heading there; fruit quality into Australia was much improved on last season and off the back of this we have managed to increase our Australian retail programme and minimise our exposure to the wholesale
market; and we stayed true to our strategy of earlier harvest, even when it got tough.
We firmly believe that early harvest is the way forward. This industry is in the motion of change and we need to increase production and reduce costs to remain relevant and future proof our businesses.
For your summer reading you will find a market update from Jacob, Kyra updates you on her observations in the BOP, John provides insights into the fruit staining issue and Erica details her summer guide to new plantings and tree structural management.
I thank you all for your ongoing support and wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.