Seven days ago we were anticipating a month of relatively calm waters. I have to admit that I called this incorrectly.

Unexpectedly, volumes packed for the New Zealand market last week leapt significantly to the level of 77,000 trays. This was a surprise in itself, but of that total 29,000 trays dropped into the class 3 category – which is concerning.

For the last month we have raised in our market reports the potential impact of surplus small fruit stocks and what effect this could potentially have on the pricing of larger sizes. The risk to fruit value as a consequence of excessive volumes of smaller sizes has been clearly signalled and we are pleased that most of our growers have reacted positively through judicious select picking. However, across the industry this appears not to have been the case. The continued in-flow of smaller sizes can only be described as very disappointing.

The net result now is significant discounting and retail price points have hit levels such as 4 fruit for $5.00 – thus challenging demand for larger sizes.

After submitting pricing mid-week, we noted advice from every major retail partner that we are ‘off the pace’ and consequently prices have declined up to 40 cents per fruit on what we achieved last week.




Size 16/18/20

$14.00 to $16.00



Size 24

$15.00 to $16.00



Size 30

$13.00 to $15.00