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Season's First New Zealand Kiwifruit Arrive in China

April 12, 2018
Dan Siekman

The season's first shipment to China of New Zealand-grown Zespri kiwifruit arrived yesterday morning in Shanghai.

The Zespri SunGold brand fruit arrived at Nangang Port aboard the refrigerated cargo ship Klipper Stream, which sailed from Tauranga on March 30. Port officials told Produce Report that the vessel was carrying 1,550 tons (more than 300,000 trays) of kiwifruit.

More charter-style vessels carrying shipments of Zespri New Zealand kiwifruit can be expected to start arriving in Shanghai regularly in the near future as the season gets into swing. Zespri has been sending dedicated reefer vessels to Shanghai since 2016.

Shanghai Nangang Port was the first port inside of a free zone in China to be approved for import of fresh fruit. In recent years, the port has accumulated a high level of experience dealing with a variety of formats of fresh fruit shipments from around the world. Port officials say that their experience and expertise with fresh fruit customs and quarantine clearance significantly reduce import costs for its clients.

Zespri reported that it sold 430,000 tons, or 123 million trays of New Zealand kiwifruit globally last year. It sold an additional 14 million trays of kiwifruit produced in in other parts of the world under the Zespri brand. This year's New Zealand crop is projected to be 70,000 tons higher than last year. Zespri is relying heavily on China, Japan and other Asian markets to continue to drive growth of its kiwifruit exports.

Joy Wing Mau’s annual customer appreciation dinner on April 10 also celebrated the start of the New Zealand kiwifruit season in China. Present at the event was Holly Brown, General Manager, Greater China for Zespri, who announced the start of the season and offered her appreciation to Zespri's commercial partners.

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