Australia’s amazing nut industries are global players
Figures like this have secured Australia’s nut industry as one of the biggest horticultural industries in the country.
With an increasingly health conscious population, the Australian nut business is expected to keep growing.
ANIC Chairman Jolyon Burnet has said that Australian nut producers are looking forward to this expected growth with at least 4.5 million new trees to be planted across the next three years.
- Almonds are the biggest nut crop in Australia. It is expected that there will be 500 new hectares of new almond tree plantings per year in Australia over the next three years
- Walnuts follow with a predicted 400 hectares per year over the next three years
- Pistachios, hazelnuts and chestnuts are continuing to grow and the largely Queensland based macadamia industry is also in a profit state
- The pecan industry is soon expected to undergo its biggest planting since the 1970s
- The Australian nut industry is heavily focused on exporting to international markets
- Almonds, macadamias, walnuts and pecan producers particularly focus on exporting to overseas countries
- Free trade agreements are key to the success of such exports
- Drought in California has particularly hit US almond growers hard and Australian companies like Harvest Select have been able to profit from the supply demand
Companies to know about
Select Harvest is one of Australia’s largest almond producers. Its brands include Lucky, Sunsol, Nu-Vit, Soland, Allinga Farms and Rensaw. These brands cover not only nut-based products but other foods like muesli and dried fruit.
The company has orchards spread across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia where it recently planted 945 new arches.
Select Harvest has performed extremely well recently due to increasing demand for almonds and from the drought in California.
In the company’s financial report for the year ending the 30 June 2015, Select Harvest reported a net profit after tax of AUD $59.4 million, a 175 per cent increase on 2014’s $21.6 million profit.
Managing Director Paul Thompson has said that the company plans to keep leveraging off the favourable conditions for Australian almond growers. Select Harvest will be investing in infrastructure with plans to reach over 20, 000 MT of almonds by 2024/25.
Olam was established in 1989 and started off solely trading cashews. The company has since gone on to become a multi-national agricultural business.
In 2009 Olam became Australia’s largest almond grower after it acquired 30 000 acres of orchards in the Sunraysia area in Victoria. Olam also has a presence in Queensland and New South Wales.
The company only set up operations within Australian and 2007 and is not listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).
Webster is a large producer of walnuts in Australia .The company has been in operation since 1831, making it the Australia’s fourth oldest company.Webster’s are not only in the walnut business but have interests in cotton and the company recently sold its Tasmanian based onion business.
Growth and expansion is on the horizon for Webster. In 2014 the company acquired 40 000 hectares of land spread across NSW. This acquisition of land has however impacted on short-term net profit with Webster reporting AUD $8.6 million profit before tax for the 2015 financial year, down from 2014’s $11.9 million. Webster’s end of financial year report also highlighted the fact that walnut prices have not risen in the way of almond prices. The company does yet say that two of the world’s biggest producers of walnuts, China and the USA both had large crops in 2014 and 2015 crops are expected to hit on or near record levels.
Another positive is Webster’s walnut sales are growing within Australia with less exports entering the market.
Suncoast Gold Macadamias
Suncoast Gold Macadamias is an Australian co-operative with farmers across Queensland and the tip of New South Wales.
The co-operative was established in 1985 and is a bulk supplier. Lately, Suncoast Gold has started taking advantage of consumer demand for milk alternatives and have began selling Macadamia milk.
In 2006 the co-operative announced its nuts were going to be stocked in Costco stores located in Japan and South Korea.