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Chile's Kiwi Harvest Kicks Off With An Increase In Production
- Mar 29, 2018 -

Chilean kiwi exports in the 2018 season are expected to grow by 3% in volume over the previous season. According to estimates, the country will export 180,000 tons, 174,000 of which correspond to the Hayward variety. This is good news for this sector, which also expects the season will start a little late because of the weather. This, according to a report of Chile's Kiwi Committee with information corresponding to weeks 10 and 11.

The increase in exports is due to a rebound in the production of the orchards, thanks to a good fruiting in spring. In general, the 2018 season has developed normally and without complications in terms of temperatures and rainfall.

Chile started exporting its kiwi nearly 2 weeks later than in the previous season, although these parameters are considered normal. Currently, the country has already shipped 911 tons of Chilean kiwi to international markets (463 tons of which were of the Hayward variety). The main destinations have been Latin America and the Far East, with a participation of 52% and 29%, respectively; followed by North America with 13.2%.

Current situation and competition in the kiwi market

The kiwi harvests started with limited volumes of the Summer variety, from the O'Higgins region. With the passing of days, new orchards started to be harvested, although with low volumes. Meanwhile, the harvest of the Hayward varieties started in the Valparaiso region. The fruit's quality and calibers are superior to those obtained last season. 

This season, the Northern Hemisphere is expected to store a greater volume of kiwis, as producing countries, such as Greece, Turkey, and Iran are producing more and more. In addition, the importers tendency of saving the fruit for later (June and July) would favor an increase in stock and, consequently, the competition that the Chilean kiwi has to face. In addition, China will produce more than it did last year. This means that all producing countries will produce as much as or more than in the last season, which will slow down Chilean exports. 

New parameters to ensure the quality of the kiwi

Recently, the Kiwi Committee has established new parameters to ensure the quality of this fruit and to ensure its sweetness and maturity. These parameters, which are part of the Program for the Assurance of Maturity (PAM), will be mandatory and will be implemented progressively in the next two seasons, so that producers can prepare their orchards for late crops. 

This program's goal is to change how people view the Chilean industry around the world and to guarantee a standard so that the national fruits have a homogeneous quality level, be more competitive, improve prices, and boost the country's brand.

Harvesting fruit with higher parameters of dry matter and soluble solids will allow producers to have a better product for storage, especially when the storage season seems to be increasingly necessary for a better distribution of the fruit and to respond to requests from markets