New Zealand fruit exports have been the shining star over the past year, countering a weak period for exports of dairy products.
The country’s merchandise exports advanced 2 per cent to $49.34 billion in the 12 months ended June 30, Statistics New Zealand said. Fruit, the country’s fourth-largest export commodity, jumped 31 per cent, while dairy exports, the largest group, declined 7.3 per cent to $11.16 billion, the agency said.
Fruit exports are going through an expansion period, as previous investment in developing markets and varieties starts to pay off. The $617 million gain in annual fruit exports eclipsed a $250 million rise in forestry product exports and a $237 million increase in meat exports. The increase in annual fruit exports was led by kiwifruit, which set a new record, up 41 per cent to $1.7 billion, while apple exports increased 23 per cent.