Leading kiwifruit marketer Zespri has downgraded its forecast returns for growers due to fruit quality issues.
This year's warm and wet winter and late frosts in parts of the North Island have impacted the quality of fruit. Consequently, by the time the kiwifruit reaches overseas markets, it will be bought for lower prices.
Zespri chairperson Bruce Cameron noted that the company's latest forecast was a reflection of on-going challenges within the kiwifruit industry, which has been experiencing increasing rates of onshore fruit loss and decreasing fruit quality.
The price per tray for Zespri's bestselling SunGold variety has dropped 21 cents from August forecasts. Meanwhile, the price of a tray of organic green kiwifruit has dropped 50 cents.
Zespri's forecast for its net profit for the year ending March 2023 is estimated to be between $225 million and $235 million, a significant drop from the $361 million profit the company earned in the 2021-2022 year.