The New Zealand Summerfruit industry comprises approximately 240 growers who produce fruit from just over 2,000 hectares. The main growing areas are Hawkes Bay and Central Otago, with some production remaining in Marlborough, north of Auckland, Central North Island 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 USA and Pacific. 

Cherries and apricots produced in Central Otago account for the bulk of all exports. 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 have 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 for canning has reduced dramatically, while new opportunities are appearing in the market for juicing and other summerfruit by-products.

The value of exports and sales on the New Zealand market are evenly balanced, with total export value being only marginally higher than that of fruit sold within New Zealand.