Seeka handles record volumes

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Seeka Kiwifruit Industries announced on Wednesday it had completed kiwifruit packing operations in Australia and New Zealand for the 2016 season.

The company had record volumes this packing season, with more than 30 million trays handled in New Zealand for the first time.

The New Zealand total included 23.2 million trays of Green and 7.4 million trays of Gold.

Seeka said it was now heading into the storage and inventory management portion of the season in New Zealand, while completing its kiwifruit sales programme in Australia.

The Australian pear selling season is expected to be completed in October.

New Zealand volumes were up by 16.6 per cent on last season.

The figure included approximately 700,000 trays that will be removed from the inventory or at time of packing, through crop management.

All volumes have been handled within the company's infrastructure, and Seeka said it was now moving manage more than 16 million trays in store.

Seeka Chief executive Michael Franks said he was delighted the record volumes had been handled within the company's capacity plan and given the weather constraints of the season.

"The longer and later than expected season has created some unexpected challenges," he said.

"Our new coolstores are operational and full, right when we needed them most. Our team is already working through the capacity plans for 2017 and beyond."

Mr Franks said Seeka would be looking to make further infrastructure investment in the absence of any sensible initiatives to allow the use of existing offshore infrastructure available through collaborative marketing.

Australian kiwifruit volumes at 580,000 trays were behind expectation by approximately 109,000 trays, but have sold well in the market.

Nashi pears were continuing to be packed out and the selling programme was expected to be completed in October.

The company is expected to report on its first six months earnings and provide commentary on trading on or around 25 August 2016.

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