High dollar squeezing Australia’s citrus export market

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 16th August 2011

Despite record rainfall and a bumper crop this year, Australia’s citrus export market is struggling against the high Australian dollar, according to industry body Citrus Australia.

This year more than 240,000 tonnes of navel oranges were grown in Australia, compared to 177,000 tonnes last year, but exports have fallen by 13 per cent over the same period.

CEO of Citrus Australia, Judith Damiani said, “Aussie citrus growers are really struggling this season as export returns are extremely low due to the high Australian dollar, and the subsequent oversupply is forcing domestic returns down.

Australian orange growers gave out free oranges at landmarks across the country today in a bid to urge Australians to buy oranges and support growers.

“With banana prices high and the flu season upon us, there has never been a better time to enjoy a nutrient-packed Aussie orange and help support an iconic Australian industry that takes pride in producing the world’s best citrus,” Ms Damiani added.

The citrus industry in Australia is worth A$540 million and represents the interests of around 2,000 citrus growers. It is the largest fresh fruit exporter, with annual export earnings of around A$190 million.