Australian fruit exporters in need of new international markets
Australian fruit growers are concerned by recent developments which may limit exports of local fruit.
The upside for Australian consumers is this may lead to a short term glut of fruit in the Australian Spring or early Summer.
Australian fruit exporters have recently seen both Russia and Vietnam shut off to them as export markets.
In the case of Russia this is due to trade boycott moves over the Ukraine conflict.
Vietnam has not been an option for many fruit producers since January 2015 when the country introduced strict new quarantine laws.
Meanwhile Indonesia intends to limit fruit import quotas as part of the on-going Indonesian government policy towards encouraging domestic food and national self-sufficiency of its food supply chain.
The Australian Horticultural Exporters Association says all of these shut downs are causing significant problems and is hoping for new markets to be found in China and South Korea, however, nothing is certain in the current economic volatility of these countries.
Although there was application to start exporting Australian stone fruit into China way back in 2005, rules and terms are yet to be finalised with the Chinese government
Other fruit types have had more success in efforts to export to China. Last year over $30 million dollars worth of citrus was sold to the country.
Australian citrus growers are also looking forward to success in South Korea with tariff cuts made to the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement in December 2014.
“Trade to South Korea has been erratic in the past 10 years with exporters having faced serious competitive pressures from other trading nations such as South Africa and Chile,” said Judith Damiani CEO of Citrus Australia about the tariff cuts.
“The tariff reduction means we can offer a more competitive price point which will help expand Australia’s trade into South Korea,” she said.
Limited success with cherries
Australian cherry growers have been experiencing some success with a 30 per cent increase to cherry exports for the 2014/15 season. Hong Kong was their biggest market for the season, followed by Singapore then China.
When releasing these results The Cherry Growers Association of Australia noted that market improvements were needed to help increase exports.
“We need to have market improvements in about 10 markets,nows, so we can airfreight from all cherry growing regions in Australia, “ said Andrew Smith, President of Cherry Growers Australia.
“We could have exported another 1500 tonnes if we did have that market improvement into Thailand, China and Taiwan alone this season and the Koreans are keen to have out Cherries in there too earlier in the season,” Mr smith said.