Big growth predicted for NZ's kiwifruit and apple industries

A new agricultural report is predicting significant growth for the many parts of the horticulture sector, thanks to the new Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) free trade agreement.

The latest Rabobank NZ Agribusiness monthly report says the future is looking positive.

"With the projected large growth in volume for both New Zealand kiwifruit and apples over the next five years, meaningful gains are on offer in select markets from CTPP tariff removals," it says.

Global trade data shows that New Zealand is the key supplier of both fresh kiwifruit and apples to Japan. 

The report says the CPTPP creates a more level playing field for New Zealand with other exporters such as Australia or Chile, who already hold FTAs with Japan. 

"Tariff reductions for this market will be meaningful over time for New Zealand exporters," says the report.

Japan is New Zealand's largest kiwifruit export destination by value, and New Zealand will see tariffs reduce to nil immediately for kiwifruit once implementation occurs on December 30, 2018.

The report says this tariff reduction will be the most meaningful for all of the New Zealand horticultural export sectors.

"Although Japan is a small export destination in terms of overall apple exports for New Zealand, tariffs for apples into Japan are currently 17 percent," it notes.

"This will progressively reduce over a more prolonged period than those for kiwifruit, with tariff free status occurring in 2029," says the report.

The CPTPP also provides for further tariff reductions for other fresh New Zealand horticultural exports, such as capsicum, carrots, squash and onions.