Australian citrus exporters have record 2016 season
Australian citrus exporters have had another record year.
Between January and November 2016 total citrus exports were just under 220, 000 tonnes, equalling AUD $335 million in value.
David Daniels from industry group, Citrus Australia, said this represents an increase of 10 per cent on 2015’s exports.
“However, in value terms, this represents an increase of 24 per cent,” Daniels said.
“So, for a moderate increase in volume, we have seen a substantial increase in value. This is due in part to a more favourable exchange rate but we are also seeing exporters focus on high-value markets with an outstanding crop this season,” he said.
Chinese demand continues to grow
As predicted by Citrus Australia, more Australian citrus was exported to China in 2016, with a total of 40, 000 tonnes arriving in the country.
“We have also seen growth in Japan of around 25 per cent to a value of $A53 million,” Daniels said.
Hong Kong demand declines
“Hong Kong has declined a little since last season but that is to be expected as direct trade into mainland China has developed over the last few years,” Daniels said.
Despite regulation changes, 13, 000 tonnes of citrus was exported to Indonesia and The Philippines and Canada were surprise successes with approximately 6, 000 tonnes of Australian citrus exported to each country.
Queensland Murcotts, which are a hybrid between an orange and a mandarin, have been in demand in Thailand with just under 8, 000 tonnes of the fruit exported to the country in 2016.
“This highlights the importance of Free Trade Agreements. This season was the first season with no tariffs or quotas since the FTA entered into force a decade ago. Back then, the trade was less than 1000 tonnes,” said Daniels.
Predictions for the 2017 season
Daniels said it was difficult to predict what will happen in the 2017 season but demand for Australian fruit appears strong.
“As long as we have the right size and quality, there is no reason to expect that this season will be any different,” he said.
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