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6.17      Persimmons

6.17.1      Persimmon industry profile

In 2018 the export industry consisted of 28 growers, 8 packhouses and 9 licensed exporters. The growing regions are Gisborne, North and South Auckland, Northland, Waikato, and a small amount from Bay of Plenty. The main variety grown and exported is Fuyu which is a non-astringent variety. The persimmon season runs from late April to July, and improved knowledge of persimmon storage has seen the export sales window extend into August. Advancements have been made in storage and shelf life. Initially dependent on high-cost airfreight to export markets for nearly 60% of exports, improved stock management and newer practises have in recent years lengthened storage and shelf life enabling more cost-efficient sea freight to be the chosen option for approximately 70% of exports.

Persimmons are a prescribed product under the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority. The Persimmon Industry Council Inc. is the industry representative body (Manager – Ian Turk, www.nzpersimmons.org.nz) and manages the export persimmon industry.

6.17.2  Persimmon exports

Exports have increased by 20% in value, and 9.5% in volume, since 2016. Australia and Thailand are the main markets taking 60-63% of total exports. The return per tonne of volume has increased by 10% since 2016, and now averages $6,180 per tonne. This increase has been driven primarily by better prices in Australia which increased 39% to $7,224/tonne in 2018, from $5,192 per tonne in 2016. As has been noted in previous editions of this report the volume of fruit sent to individual markets varies from year to year as dictated by fruit standards (e.g. fruit size) as well as local growing conditions.

Table 6.17.1: Persimmon (0810.70.00.00, 0810.90.00.60) export markets 2016-18 (year ending June, tonnes and $NZ FOB)

Market

2016

2017

2018

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Volume

Value

Australia

581

3,016,714

525

2,919,221

507

3,662,732

Thailand

273

1,763,550

382

2,410,550

328

2,097,643

Singapore

164

875,340

169

777,497

264

1,267,540

Hong Kong

115

757,512

145

855,549

133

808,521

Malaysia

167

795,774

137

631,525

145

675,880

Vietnam

16

129,789

12

114,113

31

258,791

Indonesia

20

158,178

20

129,028

26

153,463

Canada

24

136,508

31

168,906

33

145,245

Philippines

9

50,067

9

50,132

21

123,983

China

0

0

0

0

15

99,450

French Polynesia

8

54,497

21

111,206

17

98,719

Japan

10

61,818

12

60,052

9

58,875

Brunei Darussalam

4

25,627

7

47,962

6

40,333

New Caledonia

2

11,070

6

41,303

4

23,307

Taiwan

1

5,060

4

24,527

3

23,277

Fiji

1

6,223

0

2,183

2

7,574

United Arab Emirates

0

0

0

0

1

6,992

Pacific Islands

0

1,163

0

98

1

3,195

United States of America

14

77,566

17

72,836

0

0

Cambodia

0.5

4,049

0

0

0

0

Total

1,411

$7,930,505

1,497

$8,416,688

1,546

$9,555,520

% change (yr/yr)

-4%

8%

6%

6%

3%

14%

Source: Statistics New Zealand


 6.17.2  Barriers to persimmon exports

Cost of tariffs

Tariffs paid have dropped a further 23% since 2016, mainly due to the drop in the Vietnam tariff rate from 7% to 0% under the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA). Taiwan has also had a decrease in the persimmon tariff rates. Under CPTPP the 6% tariff into Japan will be eliminated at entry into force on 30 December 2018. The $0.018 million estimated cost of tariffs in 2018 equates to an average $676 per persimmon grower.

Table 6.17.2: Cost of persimmon tariffs (based on 2018 FOB value)

Market

Tariff

Value

Estimated cost of tariff ($)

Australia

0%

3,662,732

0

Thailand

0%

2,097,643

0

Singapore

0%

1,267,540

0

Hong Kong

0%

808,521

0

Malaysia

0%

675,880

0

Vietnam

0%

258,791

0

Indonesia

4%

153,463

6,139

Canada

0%

145,245

0

Philippines

0%

123,983

0

China

0%

99,450

 

French Polynesia

0%

98,719

0

Japan

6%

58,875

3,533

New Caledonia

25%

23,307

5,827

Taiwan

13.1%

23,277

3,049

Fiji

5%

7,574

379

United Arab Emirates

0%

6,992

0

Total

0.2%

$9,511,992

$18,926

 

SPS and other market access barriers

Australia – Australia intends to cease the OPI programme by December 2019. Australia’s phase out of the OPI programme is a trade risk for persimmon exports. Australia has been the largest export market for persimmons for some years. If pests are detected on arrival in Australia the only options are fumigation, reshipment or destruction. Methyl bromide fumigation damages fruit quality and shelf life. Vapormate™ is not a viable option.

China – Access for persimmons was lodged in 2005. Protocols were signed in June 2015. MPI has worked with the industry to develop an Official Assurance Programme (OAP) and the first exports to China occurred in 2017, after audit by Chinese AQSIQ officials. Export volumes are small while the industry becomes familiar with the programme requirements. Volumes increased in 2018 and are expected to grow steadily in future years with more exporters becoming involved.

USA – The Persimmon Industry Council requested access for persimmons into the USA using a systems approach for pest management. The rules were published by USDA in 2017, following which the industry and MPI worked to have the workplan and protocols agreed prior to the 2018 season. Industry was successful in having growers, facilities and exporters compliant in time, and fruit passed the post-harvest cold treatment. The first small shipments were sent in 2018. This is another market in which industry is looking for steady growth.