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New Zealand apple exports cut

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Severe weather conditions during harvest in New Zealand have made an impact on exports which is made worse by severe labour shortages during harvest.

“Because of these shortages, orchard owners were not able to do the number of harvest picks in each orchard block necessary to maximize the proportion of export quality fruit,” said a USA report.

Labour shortages, according to the report, were brought about by the New Zealand government’s COVID-19 response, which included limiting slots available for short-term foreign workers in mandatory 14-day quarantine on arrival, and international border closures.

Fresh apple exports are expected to be reduced by 14% compared with a year ago, down from just over 400,000 metric tons in 2019-20 to about 345,000 metric tons for the 2020-21 season.