The last of the country's 2019 kiwifruit crops has been shipped for the year, drawing to a close a bumper season for the region.

About 70 tonnes of the Bay of Plenty-grown kiwifruit was loaded onto the APL Denver this week which is expected to reach Asia in just over two weeks.

147 million trays of kiwifruit were shipped offshore this season to more than 50 countries, Zespri's chief global supply officer Blair Hamill said.

While the number of containers shipped was slightly down on the previous record year, this season saw the second-largest crop ever harvested by New Zealand's kiwifruit growers.

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Zespri gold 3 fruit kiwifruit hanging on the vine. Photo / File
Zespri gold 3 fruit kiwifruit hanging on the vine. Photo / File

"The 2019 season saw our kiwifruit mature earlier meaning we could ship our kiwifruit to consumers earlier in the year and get the season started with a lot of momentum," he said.

More than 74 million trays of Zespri's SunGold and 73 million trays of Green were supplied to global consumers and customers from New Zealand this season.

He said Northern Hemisphere production would kick into gear now, with a forecasted 19 million trays expected from partners across Europe and Asia.

Planning was already under way for the start of next season's New Zealand crop, with the first vessel expected to export the new season's fruit in March 2020.