Continuous planting of kiwifruit plantations in Italy has meant the 1999/2000 crop could reach a new record figure of over 300,000 tonnes of which 260,000 tonnes will finally be exported as the season closes. Because the fruit stores well it has put additional pressure on the earlier arrivals from New Zealand. Tony Marks, chief executive of Zespri International, says producers can also expect competition from Chile which has a large crop, although claims of small sized fruit being shipped have been denied by importers. {{FRESH PRODUCE }}