Tons of promise for squash

GREAT SEASON: The squash season in the district has been a good one so far and consignments have been leaving Gisborne by sea for Southeast Asia, including on the Atlantic Erica which sailed with 3000 tonnes. Five more squash ships will load up here before the end of the season. Picture by Liam Clayton

THE squash season has been roaring along since just before Christmas and Gisborne growers believe the season is on track to be big.

It has been estimated Gisborne will produce overall 33,000 to 40,000 tonnes of squash this season, bound for Japan, South Korea and China.

Coxco managing director Omi Badsar said they had been harvesting since early this month.

“The harvest is going well, certainly compared to last season, and we are happy with the quality and quantity of squash coming out of the paddocks.

“The yields are good and we expect to have a big season.

“All our squash is pre-sold and we are very happy with the prospects for the season.”

LeaderBrand started to get export crop away just before Christmas through the port of Napier.

“The start of the season was pretty much as we expected and the early yields have been promising,” said general manager Richard Burke.

“We had a few headaches round the heavy rain we have had from time to time but generally we are pretty much on track.”

Too early to say tonnage

Mr Burke said it was a little bit early to tell what sort of overall tonnage they would end up with.

“It all depends on how the season pans out from here.

“The market is mixed, but then it always is. We are optimistic and encouraged by how the yield looks at this stage.”

Four Seasons managing director Elliot Callender said yields for them looked positive compared to last season.

“The climate has been on our side more this season and we are on track to get our targeted volumes at this stage.

“Obviously there is still a lot of season to come and a lot can happen, weather-wise particularly,” Mr Callender said.

“The market from China looks positive. Prices in South Korea and Japan are fluctuating as they normally do.”

The first export shipment of squash to leave here by sea left on board the Asian Lily on January 14.

The ship took 1200 tonnes for Coxco and Four Seasons.

The second consignment was loaded on to the Atlantic Erica and sailed with 3000 tonnes on board.

Eastland Port expects five more squash shipments between now and the first week in April.

THE squash season has been roaring along since just before Christmas and Gisborne growers believe the season is on track to be big.

It has been estimated Gisborne will produce overall 33,000 to 40,000 tonnes of squash this season, bound for Japan, South Korea and China.

Coxco managing director Omi Badsar said they had been harvesting since early this month.

“The harvest is going well, certainly compared to last season, and we are happy with the quality and quantity of squash coming out of the paddocks.

“The yields are good and we expect to have a big season.

“All our squash is pre-sold and we are very happy with the prospects for the season.”

LeaderBrand started to get export crop away just before Christmas through the port of Napier.

“The start of the season was pretty much as we expected and the early yields have been promising,” said general manager Richard Burke.

“We had a few headaches round the heavy rain we have had from time to time but generally we are pretty much on track.”

Too early to say tonnage

Mr Burke said it was a little bit early to tell what sort of overall tonnage they would end up with.

“It all depends on how the season pans out from here.

“The market is mixed, but then it always is. We are optimistic and encouraged by how the yield looks at this stage.”

Four Seasons managing director Elliot Callender said yields for them looked positive compared to last season.

“The climate has been on our side more this season and we are on track to get our targeted volumes at this stage.

“Obviously there is still a lot of season to come and a lot can happen, weather-wise particularly,” Mr Callender said.

“The market from China looks positive. Prices in South Korea and Japan are fluctuating as they normally do.”

The first export shipment of squash to leave here by sea left on board the Asian Lily on January 14.

The ship took 1200 tonnes for Coxco and Four Seasons.

The second consignment was loaded on to the Atlantic Erica and sailed with 3000 tonnes on board.

Eastland Port expects five more squash shipments between now and the first week in April.

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