Wednesday, 22 May 2019 08:03

Weather impacts fruit crop

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Unseasonably hot and dry growing conditions are behind the lower than expected kiwifruit volumes. Unseasonably hot and dry growing conditions are behind the lower than expected kiwifruit volumes.

Horticultural produce company Seeka has indicated lower than expected kiwifruit volumes across Australia and New Zealand.

Based on the volumes to date, the company estimates that the full year crop packed by Seeka will be 8.3% on average lower than its pre-season estimates. 

“The effect is industry wide, and reflects unseasonably hot and dry growing conditions which have led to a smaller size profile and total crop volume in both Australia and NZ,” it says.

In NZ the company says it has packed about 97% of its expected SunGold harvest, and has packed about 33% of its expected Hayward, and so is better able to estimate the full year earnings. 

In total Seeka expects to pack 33.543 million class 1 trays versus 30.233m in harvest 2018 and its earlier expectation of 36.327m at the time it last gave guidance. 

The company claims its Australian harvest has been significantly impacted by the record high temperatures and dry growing conditions. It is predicting a total Green Nashi crop of 900 tonnes (down 18% on 2018) and a kiwifruit crop of 1900 tonnes (down 26% on 2018).

Seeka now expects 2019 group earnings before tax to be $32.5m to $33.5m versus the previous guidance in April of $36.5m to $37.5m, and versus the previous year result of $26.2m (prior year excludes IFRS 16 adjustment). 

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