Kiwi, kiwifruit, or Chinese gooseberry is a rare edible berry, native to modern-day China. One of the main varieties of kiwi is the golden kiwi (Actinidia chinensis), which is has a smooth and bronze skin that is either bright green or intense yellow in color. Meanwhile, other kiwi varieties have different outer colors, such as brown or green fleshed. Kiwifruit grows best in zones with temperate climates that experience warm summers. Internationally, China is one of the largest producers of kiwis, followed by Europe, New Zealand, and Chile. In the Northern Hemisphere, kiwi vines usually ripen their fruit during the fall month of November. Meanwhile, in the Southern Hemisphere, kiwis are ready to picked off their vines around May. As a high-value niche product, kiwis are only found in urban and some rural markets, where the fruit is known and there is demand for it. Currently, the price of 20 pounds of kiwi in the United States ranges between $20-$40 depending on the location and origin, with an average price of $29.
Chilean Production and the Global Kiwi Trade
During 2016, global kiwi trade amounted to US$2.5 billion. Furthermore, the largest exporter of kiwi in 2016 was New Zealand, which accounted for 47% or US$1.2 billion of global kiwi exports. Similarly, Italy exported 19% or US$476 million of global kiwi exports in 2016, while Chile exported 7.1% or US$178 million. Other major exporters of kiwifruit worldwide are Belgium, Greece, Iran, Hong Kong, and China. In the Western Hemisphere, Chile is one of the few countries to grow kiwi, which is a unique agricultural niche product. In Chile, kiwi harvesting increased its total area from 30 hectares in 1982 to 8.866 hectares in 2016. Likewise, Chile’s kiwi production increased from 10 metric tons in 1982 to 225.797 metric tons in 2016.
Simultaneously, the largest national markets for kiwi around the world are China, Japan, Germany, Spain, Taiwan, and the United States, all of which registered substantial kiwi trade deficits of over US$100 million (respectively) in 2016. This means that all of the abovementioned countries imported at least US$100 million more kiwi than what they exported during 2016. Some of the largest kiwi trading companies in the world are Ahikiwi Orchard from New Zealand, Kiwi Uno from Italy, KxK Fruit from Greece, Macfarlane Consultancy from the Netherlands, and Camill Alimentos from the United States.
In the case of China, kiwi cultivation increased from 70.000 hectares in 2000 to 197.048 hectares in 2016. Meanwhile, kiwi production in China increased from 850.000 metric tons in 2000 to 2.4 million metric tons in 2016. Similarly, in New Zealand, kiwi cultivation increased from 400 hectares in 1970 to 12.574 hectares in 2016. Furthermore, kiwi production in New Zealand increased from 2.000 metric tons in 1970 to 434.048 metric tons in 2016.