Kiwifruits in Chile are harvested from mid-March until mid-May and can be stored and exported until September for farther destinations in Europe, the United States, or Asia, and until November for closer destinations in Latin America.
For the Summer Kiwi variety, harvest began early in early March in the O'Higgins region and is already drawing to a close. The Soreli variety harvest also began early in mid-March in the Valparaíso region and along the coast of the O'Higgins and Maule regions. The picking of the Hayward kiwifruit began in the Valparaíso and O'Higgins regions in mid-March, covering the entire production area from Valparaíso to Maule.
The harvest for this season is at approximately 176K metric tons, a slight decrease from last year. Factors that contributed to the decline in harvest volume was a decrease in production acreage, which consists mainly of old orchards, as well as a higher yield of smaller-sized kiwifruits, largely due to water shortages that affected production areas in Chile.
The fruit quality is expected to be as good as last year’s due to a hot summer season and a Standardized Ripening Assurance Program (PAM) that was implemented this season. As a result, there is a good soluble solids level and very high content of dry matter, greater than previous seasons.
Until late March, Latin America has been the top target market for Chilean kiwis, importing 2,080 tons (40%), followed by Asia at 1,348 tons (26%), North America at 1,009 tons (19%), Russia at 380 tons (7%), mainland Europe at 340 tons (7%), and the Middle East at 48 tons (1%). All markets have increased their volumes compared to the last season, except for North America and the Middle East, which has dropped by 19% and 98%, respectively.
Exports are forecasted to drop slightly at an average of 150K metric tons compared to the 2019 volume of 153K metric tons with the Hayward variety accounting for 97% of exports, with only the Dori variety expecting an increase in exports this season. So far, this season has not seen any major problems from the coronavirus outbreak as order cancellations have been minimal, and prices remain relatively stable. Exports to Europe are expected to increase as there is currently low inventory, and the fruits are a good source of Vitamin C.