Apple export volumes have hit a record high and the season is not yet finished.
Napier Port chief executive Garth Cowie said 20,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) this year had so far been sent.
"Our last record was 18,500 TEUs, so it is a significant jump."
Pipfruit New Zealand business development manager Gary Jones said business was "booming" as market demand outstripped supply.
"We expect records to be broken every year for the next five years," he said.
Pipfruit New Zealand CEO Alan Pollard said early-season hail events caused crop volume projections to fall. While hail hammered some orchardists, it did not affect average volume as greatly as anticipated. Early estimates put next year's crop up 5 per cent and 2017 up 19 per cent up on this season.
"We are looking at significant and sustainable growth with the industry investment in new plantings coming into production," he said.
He said prices remained steady.
"New Zealand commands a premium over most other producers due to the quality freshness and taste of our fruit."
Statistics New Zealand figures showed fruit exports in May 2015 had the highest-ever value for a month (at $445 million). June and April exports were the second- and third-highest, respectively.
In 2013, a tonne of fruit averaged $1538 when exported but this year would be about $1800, helped by currency fluctuations.
In 2010, Hawke's Bay export receipts were $203 million and this year anticipated to be $363 million - an 80 per cent increase.
The national export value in 2012 was $342 million and, in 2014, $536 million - a 57 per cent increase.
Asia continued to take 35 per cent to 40 per cent of the crop "and this trend should continue", with China taking a record 20,000 tonnes this year.
Increased volume puts the spotlight on a lack of pickers. Trees need several picks to ensure fruit quality, unlike the previous practice of strip-picking.