Bumper Crop Of New Zealand Apples To Pump Up Market

The drought in Chile has produced smaller apples, driving up the demand and price for New Zeland's bumper crop of the fruit.

According to this article from ThePacker.com, it appears that the weather and drought conditions in parts of Chile during the growing season has translated into a smaller apple size, which is in turn driving up the price and demand for larger New Zealand apples right now.

Because of limitations on large galas out of Chile, New Zealand galas 100s and larger imported by Vancouver, British Columbia-based The Oppenheimer Group were fetching $40 a box and up last week, said David Nelley, Oppenheimer's apple pear and cherry category director.

Imports were down overall as of mid-April, and apples from Chile’s Northern growing regions are much smaller than normal, said Casey Collins, director of business development for Chelan Fresh Marketing, Chelan, Wash. Some varieties in the north were reported to be peaking at three sizes smaller than usual, Collins said. That will likely affect how much Chilean fruit makes it to North America.

The matter of size of the apples has led to speculation that imports and import habits may soon see some changes.

“The U.S. is geared toward larger fruit,” said Collins. “Asia and the U.K. are more likely to take smaller apples.”

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