New Zealand sets another record in horticulture exports

Published on October 13, 2020

New Zealand’s climate permits the production of a wide range of fruit crops such as kiwifruit, apples and avocados, etc. Production is export attentive. Other fruit crops such as berry fruit, citrus and summer fruit are grown mainly to supply the domestic market.

What does New Zealand export?

Fresh fruits
Kiwifruit 2,302.2 $m
apples 828.8 $m
Avocados 104.3 $m
Cherries 568.9 $m
Blueberries 38.9 $m
Other fresh 48.9 $m
Total fresh fruit 3,392.0   $m
Processed fruits
Wine 1,806.6 $m
Fruit - Juices49.4   $m
Hops - cones & extracts 21.0 $m
Other processed fruits67.2 $m
Total Processed fruits1,944.2 $m
Fresh vegetables
Onions170.3 $m
Squash59.7 $m
Potatoes22.6 $m
Capsicums20.6 $m
Other fresh vegetables30.9 $m
Total Fresh vegetables304.1 $m
Processed vegetables (frozen/dried/other processes)
Potatoes 106.8 $m
Peas 96.5   $m
Sweetcorn 41.4   $m
Beans 41.1   $m
Vegetable   juices 31.9   $m
Beetroot 24.8 $m
Mixed vegetables (frozen) 22.0 $m
Other vegetables (frozen) 14.8 $m
Other processed vegetables 16.5 $m
Total   processed vegetables 1,395.8 $m
Other horticultural exports
Flowers & foliage 20.0   $m
Vegetable seeds 87.1   $m
Seeds, plants, bulbs, moss, etc. 56.9   $m
Total other horticultural exports 164.0   $m

Total exports in current $ 6,200.1 $m

Who does New Zealand export to?

Countries ValueYear
United States$3.72B2019
South Korea$1.11B2019
United Kingdom$980.15M2019
Hong Kong$838.82M2019
United Arab Emirates$533.13M2019
Saudi Arabia$439.33M2019
Sri Lanka$272.82M2019

New Zealand horticulture exports reached a record breaking $6.2 billion in the year ending June 2019 – an increase of $720 million from the previous year, and more than 10% of New Zealand’s total merchandise export income.

Graph showing exports of NZ. Source from

According to latest edition of Fresh Facts, published annually by Plant & Food Research and Horticulture New Zealand, the total New Zealand horticulture industry was valued at $9.5 billion in 2019. A noteworthy $3.4 billion of this was fresh fruit exports, which grew by $54 million later from 2018. Kiwifruit continues to be New Zealand’s largest fresh fruit export, valued at $2.3 billion in 2019. A huge 545,800 tons of kiwifruit exports were sent overseas, two thirds of this to Asian countries. Apples were the second largest fresh fruit export, making $829 million. New Zealand-bred varieties such as Jazz™, Envy™ and Pacific™ brand apples are popular with overseas consumers and made up a quarter of apple exports.

New Zealand wine is world famous, supplied to 100 countries in 2019 and earning more than $1.8 billion. The USA, UK, Australia and Canada like our wine the most, more than 80% of wine exports went to these countries.

Notable vegetable exports include onions which had a $170.3 million export value in 2019, more than half supplied to European markets. $129.4 million of potatoes were exported, mostly in processed form for the Australian market. Potatoes are a New Zealand favorite too; Kiwi consumers spent the most on them out of all vegetables.

New Zealand horticultural produce was exported to 130 countries in 2019. The top five markets on list are Europe, Australia, USA, China and Japan. Exports made to Asia were worth $2.6 billion, 42% of total NZ horticulture exports overall.

“A reputation for high quality fruits and vegetables produced using environmentally sustainable practices, in addition to well established trade routes, are vital for the New Zealand horticulture industry,” says David Hughes, CEO, Plant & Food Research. “Innovation – in the form of new varieties and constantly improved production systems – will ensure New Zealand’s success into the future.”

Key facts:

  • Produce from the New Zealand horticultural sector were $9.5 billion in the year to 30 June 2019.
  • The total value of horticultural exports was $6.2 billion in 2019, $720 million more than in 2018.

The biggest horticultural export was kiwifruit ($2.3 billion). Other key exports were wine ($1.8 billion), apples ($828.8 million), and onions ($170.3 million).

  • Exports to five markets Continental Europe, Australia, the USA, China and Japan accounted for almost $4.7 billion and 76% of the total exports.
  • Honey exports went to 59 countries, with a total value of $355 million FOB (Consistent with other entries in Fresh Facts, honey exports are not included in totals).

Export destinations for New Zealand horticultural products trends since 2010 ($ million, fob Freight on Board)

New Zealand-grown fruits, vegetables and flowers were exported to 130 countries in 2019, compared with 117 countries in 2010.

→ Horticulture exports to 31 countries exceeded $10m (fob) in 2018, up from 25 countries in 2010.

→ New Zealand also earned over $103m from horticultural machinery and components exports (2010: $52m), as well as additional income from royalties and license agreements.


→ In 2019 New Zealand fruit and vegetable exports to five markets exceeded $500m. Fob value: Continental Europe ($998m), Australia ($814m), the USA ($779m), Japan ($786m) and China ($752m). These five export markets accounted for close to $4.7b and more than three quarters (76%) of New Zealand’s total horticultural exports in 2019.

→ Exports to five other countries exceeded $100m: the UK $538m, Taiwan $251m, Canada $169m, Korea $122m and Hong Kong $119m. Horticultural exports to Asian countries in 2019 were $2.6b (42% of total NZ horticultural exports).

→ The diversity of horticultural products exported is apparent in the 25 products exported to Asia each between $5m and over $1.5b, and to Australia with 15 categories between $5m and over $360m fob value.

You can read more about horticulture in New Zealand here.


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