New Zealand kiwifruit growers are to destroy a million trays, or 3.6m kg, of green export fruit as global demand slumps.

Details of the dumping were outlined in a letter from industry export marketer Zespri to 3000 New Zealand growers late last month allocating them their quota to be destroyed, The Dominion Post reported today.

Zespri's plan will keep as much of the 'premier class one' fruit in the market as possible at the expense of 'class two'.

Gold fruit is not affected.

Wes Anderson Smith, chief executive of kiwifruit company Satara, said further destruction of green fruit could not be ruled out in the present economic climate.

That was particularly because volumes were forecast to rise by 5 per cent above this season's output next year.

After the dumping to be done in May and June, there will still be an excess 500,000 trays of green fruit to be absorbed into the New Zealand domestic market.

Anderson Smith said the domestic market could become saturated, which could cause a collapse in price to the benefit of consumers.

- NZPA