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Zespri Cuts Profit Forecast As New Zealand Kiwifruit Production Falls

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According to Radio New Zealand (RNZ) and the New Zealand Herald, this year's New Zealand kiwi harvest is almost complete, with total harvest volumes below last year's record of 177 million boxes. Recently New Zealand kiwi marketer Zespri and grower Seeka both said that they expect to see a significant drop in company profits this year due to lower kiwi production, higher shipping costs and labour shortages.

Just a month ago, Chia Pepper reported its 2021/22 financial results, with total global fruit sales revenue reaching N$4.03 billion for the first time, up 12 per cent from the previous year, and net profit after tax of N$361.5 million. The latest reports indicate that Canaday has lowered its net profit forecast for the year to N$227 million - N$247 million.

Carol Ward, a spokesperson for Japonic, said it had been a tough production season. "Last year was a record year for us, but this year we've issued fewer permits to growers and the crop is slightly down ...... which means our profit expectations for the year will also be revised downwards."

Despite this, Ward said growers could still make a significant return this season. Canaday has eased some of the logistical pressure by chartering vessels, but it still can't combat rising logistics costs. Combined with shipping disruptions and ongoing labour shortages, these are leading to a significant drop in profits.

Seeka, New Zealand's largest kiwi grower, has also lowered its market expectations, saying that the kiwi harvest is now complete, with total Hayward green-fleshed kiwi production down around 17% on last year and SunGold yellow-fleshed kiwi production down 10.2%. As a result of the lower production, Seeka expects full-year pre-tax net profit for the year to be in the range of N$9-11 million, down significantly from N$23.5 million in 2021.

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