Australian stonefruit rides high
Exports climb to record levels over 2018/19 season, with shipments to mainland China propelling the growth
It’s been a vintage season for Australian stonefruit exports, with volumes climbing to 22,861 tonnes between July 2018 and April 2019, according to data prepared by Fresh Intelligence Consulting.
The performance betters the previous record of 20,600 tonnes set in 2003 for the 10-month period, within which the bulk of Australia’s stonefruit harvest and exports take place.
The 2018/19 volume represents a 29 per cent increase on the 2017/18 campaign, while the overall value of trade (A$88.68m in 2018/19) rose 37 per cent year-on-year.
Mainland China continues to emerge as a focal point for the Australian industry, with exports to the Asian nation climbing 88 per cent year-on-year to 9,348 tonnes over the 2018/19 campaign. This translated to a market share of 40.9 per cent.
Singapore ranked second on the list of export destinations by volume, taking 2,530 tonnes, 5 per cent up on 2017/18.
Strong export growth was reported in Saudi Arabia (volumes up 42 per cent to 1,957 tonnes) and Indonesia (up 60 per cent to 993 tonnes).
Peaches and nectarines accounted for 69 per cent of the export shipments, while plums represented 29 per cent.
Peak industry body Summerfruit Australia (SAL) recently appointed Trevor Ranford as its new chief executive. Ranford replaces John Moore, who will continue to work with SAL on improving export market access for Australian growers.
Ranford has over 40 years of experience in the horticulture industry, including various executive roles with organisations in the pipfruit and cherry industries.
Author: Matthew Jones