At the time of the last industry crop survey in 2014, the industry comprised 279 growers who produced fruit from just over 1,386 hectares. The main growing areas are Hawkes Bay and Central Otago, with some production remaining in Marlborough, north of Auckland and Canterbury.
The majority of all nectarines, peaches and plums produced in New Zealand are consumed on the domestic market. Only minor volumes of each are exported, largely to the Pacific.
Cherries and apricots produced in Central Otago, account for the bulk of all export. Asian countries dominate export sales for cherries, Taiwan and China being the main markets, however markets in other countries are expanding rapidly. Countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia have rapidly emerged to gain market share from larger markets.
Australia remains the primary export market for apricots.
Other than peaches and small volumes of plums supplied to Heinz Wattie’s Ltd, very little summerfruit is processed. Since the closure of the Roxdale cannery in the early 2000s, processing of other summerfruit has reduced dramatically and now accounts for less than 1% of the levy collected by Summerfruit NZ.
The value of exports and sales on the New Zealand market are evenly balanced, with total export value of being only marginally higher than that of fruit sold within New Zealand. This is an unusual feature of the industry.