Zespri's forecast per tray returns to growers have moderated after a strong 2014/15 season, but stayed steady on a per hectare basis.

The kiwifruit marketer's December forecast shows steady per-hectare returns for all categories, thanks to higher volumes of fruit.

Green volumes are forecast to increase by 16 per cent to more than 80 million trays and SunGold - or Gold3 - volumes are up nearly three times on last season.

Chief executive Lain Jager said with deliveries of New Zealand fruit almost complete, this season had been marked by a record yield of large green fruit, bringing strong sales opportunities across global markets.


"The season also provided great results for Zespri SunGold, as volumes continue to grow strongly, and customers and consumers respond positively to this product."

Zespri is closing in on total sales of nearly 21 million trays in Japan - a record result for that market. Sales in China hit a record high of more than 18 million trays, up from 11.4 million trays the previous season.

The forecast green return is $4.87 per tray with a record green crop of over 80 million trays. The previous year's return of $6.01 per tray had been inflated by a supply/demand imbalance caused by a severe frost in Chile - New Zealand's biggest Southern Hemisphere competitor.

The forecast average return per hectare for green is $53,765 - virtually unchanged from $53,884 last year.

Total gold volumes were about 33 million trays with SunGold volumes increasing nearly three times from 10.6 million trays last season to 27.5 million trays in 2015/16.

The per-hectare return for gold was $68,807 - down from $73,890 last season - reflecting orchard yields continuing to adjust from the impact of the Psa virus.

Zespri's sales revenue was $1.57 billion in 2014/15.

Good pickings


• Record green fruit crop of over 80 million trays.

• Total gold volumes of about 33 million trays.

• Closing in on record sales in Japan of nearly 21 million trays.

• Record high of over 18 million trays sales in China.