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New Zealand apple production and exports forecast to rise in MY 2021/22

New Zealand’s apple production and exports are forecast to rise in marketing year 2021/22 (January 2022-December 2022), but remain far below levels previously expected as a result of continued shortages of harvest labor.

The combination of reduced labor due to international border closures, as well as a slowdown in picking and packing because of COVID-19 outbreaks amongst staff, is resulting in some lower-value apple orchard blocks not being harvested.

Also, strong rainfall in the Hawke’s Bay delayed the start of harvesting, and there is not expected to be sufficient labor to catch up, which will also put pressure on production and export numbers. The number of apples for processing is also anticipated to remain relatively reduced, as companies are prioritizing their limited labor to pick those apples that are export-quality and of highest value.

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