Australian citrus exports rise in value
11 December 2018
Australian citrus exports until the end of October have increased in value compared to the same time last year, despite a small decline in volume.
Australia has exported 237,000 tonnes globally so far this year (down 5% for the same period last year) for a return of A$435 million (up by 5% for the same period).
Citrus Australia Market Access Manager, David Daniels, said it was an excellent result, and a credit to growers for the work put in to meet market requirements.
“With a smaller crop this year in parts of the country, compared to a substantially larger crop last year, we expected a downfall in exports, which didn’t materialise,” he said.
“The increase in value shows the hard work of growers is paying off.
“There is a lot more work involved in producing fruit for higher value markets but the rewards are there.”
Orange export numbers were similar to last year, with a fall in mandarins, primarily due to the smaller crop in Queensland this year.
Australia’s biggest export market was China, taking 74,000 tonnes valued at $160 million.
The Hong Kong market grew by 20% to 33,000 tonnes. Combined exports to Hong Kong and China together were 111,000 tonnes, plus around 2000 tonnes into Chinese Taipei.
Japan remains our second largest customers, taking 37,000 tonnes (6%) down on last season, with the USA growing their imports by 18% to 11,000 tonnes.
Mr Daniels said the growth in exports to Vietnam – a rise of 115% to 5000 tonnes – was a welcome surprise.
“We say 10,000 tonnes is a good market and we’re halfway there in Vietnam.”
Exports to the Philippines continue to rise – from nothing in 2012 to 7000t so far this year.
Mr Daniels said demand in these smaller markets meant further opportunities for Australian growers.
“The old adage is ‘you have to sell the whole crop’. China will buy the cream but growers have to sell the rest of the tree, and there are good markets for less popular sizes and Class 2 fruit.”