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Australian veggie exports jump in 2018

Australian fresh vegetable exports rose by 11.4% last year with Singapore retaining its spot as the leading market, while high growth rates were seen for potatoes, onions, broccoli and cauliflower.

The results were released by industry body Ausveg, whose national manager for export development Michael Coote said progress was testament to the hard work of growers who have persevered with the export process.

“The Australian vegetable industry is continuing to experience solid growth in its exports, particularly on the back of strong performing products such as carrots, potatoes and broccoli/cauliflower to different high-value Asian markets,” Coote said.

With the AUD281 million (US$199.5 million) result, the industry only needs another 12% push over two years to hit its 2020 target of AUD315 million (US$223.7 million).

The growth in volume was faster at 15.5% to reach 227,000 metric tons (MT), of which carrots accounted for almost half.

Singapore was the leading market with Australian fresh vegetable imports worth AUD50 million (US$35.5 million), followed by Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand; the latter notably provided a 54% uptick to AUD7.8 million (US$5.5 million).

The broccoli/cauliflower category was the biggest riser with growth of 24% in value to AUD22.5 million (US$16 million) and volume growth of 33.5% to 8,500MT.

Coote added the positive outcome was also the result of Ausveg and the wider industry providing opportunities for growers to increase their capability and opportunities to enter export markets.

“The Vegetable Industry Export Program, which is delivered by AUSVEG in partnership with Hort Innovation, continues to support the solid growth in fresh vegetable exports,” Coote said.

“In 2018, the program facilitated the development of export capabilities for the industry by bringing 40 buyers into Australia to see local production, taking over 40 growers on outbound trade missions, and up-skilling another 40 growers through export readiness training.

“The continued rise in the value of vegetable exports is particularly impressive when you consider that Australian vegetables are typically lower-priced products that are being grown in a high-cost environment, due to the rising costs of labour, electricity and water.”

Coote noted growers were also subject to the effects of fluctuating exchange rates, but nonetheless exports have continued to build.

“The industry is well on its way to reach the ambitious target of AUD$315 million in fresh vegetable exports by 2020 as outlined by the industry’s export strategy,” he said.

“We are working with growers to ensure they have the skills and knowhow to improve their ability to export their produce and capitalise on increasing demand for fresh, Australian-grown vegetable produce.”

Source: Fresh Fruit Portal

Australian vegetable export data shows strong growth

Australian vegetable exports rose by more than 15 percent last year, mainly due to strong international demand. Back home though, retailers and consumers are reporting higher prices than normal for vegetables at the store level.

The export figures, recently released by Ausveg, show fresh vegetable exports grew to $281 million in 2018 on the back of healthy growth in key export markets in Singapore (7.5% value growth), Japan (8.7% value growth) and Thailand (54% value growth).

The total volume of Australian fresh vegetable exports increased 15.5% to 227,000 tons, with increases across most major markets, again including Singapore, Japan and Thailand.

Carrots remained the strongest export performer in 2018 at 113,000 tons, increasing in value by 5.1% to $98m. Some other key vegetable exports included potatoes, onions, celery, broccoli and cauliflower, which all increased in value and volume in 2018.

Ausveg national manager - export development, Michael Coote, said the organisation's Vegetable Industry Export Program, in partnership with Hort Innovation, continues to support the solid growth in fresh vegetable exports.

Coote said the vegetable industry was well on its way to reaching the target of $315m in fresh vegetable exports by 2020 as outlined by the industry's export strategy.

Source: queenslandcountrylife.com.au via www.freshplaza.com 

Australian veggie exports jump in 2018

Australian fresh vegetable exports rose by 11.4% last year with Singapore retaining its spot as the leading market, while high growth rates were seen for potatoes, onions, broccoli and cauliflower.

The results were released by industry body Ausveg, whose national manager for export development Michael Coote said progress was testament to the hard work of growers who have persevered with the export process.

“The Australian vegetable industry is continuing to experience solid growth in its exports, particularly on the back of strong performing products such as carrots, potatoes and broccoli/cauliflower to different high-value Asian markets,” Coote said.

With the AUD281 million (US$199.5 million) result, the industry only needs another 12% push over two years to hit its 2020 target of AUD315 million (US$223.7 million).

The growth in volume was faster at 15.5% to reach 227,000 metric tons (MT), of which carrots accounted for almost half.

Singapore was the leading market with Australian fresh vegetable imports worth AUD50 million (US$35.5 million), followed by Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand; the latter notably provided a 54% uptick to AUD7.8 million (US$5.5 million).

The broccoli/cauliflower category was the biggest riser with growth of 24% in value to AUD22.5 million (US$16 million) and volume growth of 33.5% to 8,500MT.

Coote added the positive outcome was also the result of Ausveg and the wider industry providing opportunities for growers to increase their capability and opportunities to enter export markets.

“The Vegetable Industry Export Program, which is delivered by AUSVEG in partnership with Hort Innovation, continues to support the solid growth in fresh vegetable exports,” Coote said.

“In 2018, the program facilitated the development of export capabilities for the industry by bringing 40 buyers into Australia to see local production, taking over 40 growers on outbound trade missions, and up-skilling another 40 growers through export readiness training.

“The continued rise in the value of vegetable exports is particularly impressive when you consider that Australian vegetables are typically lower-priced products that are being grown in a high-cost environment, due to the rising costs of labour, electricity and water.”

Coote noted growers were also subject to the effects of fluctuating exchange rates, but nonetheless exports have continued to build.

“The industry is well on its way to reach the ambitious target of AUD$315 million in fresh vegetable exports by 2020 as outlined by the industry’s export strategy,” he said.

“We are working with growers to ensure they have the skills and knowhow to improve their ability to export their produce and capitalise on increasing demand for fresh, Australian-grown vegetable produce.”

Read more: 

Australia scores improved citrus, carrot access to Indonesia with signed FTA

Australia’s National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has welcomed the recently signed free trade agreement with Indonesia, which will give improved market access for a range of agricultural products including carrots and citrus.

It said “wide-ranging wins” for farmers were at the heart of the much much-anticipated Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), signed in Indonesia on March 4.

“Today represents real tangible benefits to the hip pocket of many Australian farmers,” said National Farmers’ Federation CEO Tony Maharsaid. “IA-CEPA will deliver improved market access for live cattle, feed grains, beef, sheepmeat, dairy, sugar, fruit, carrots, potatoes and honey.”

The tariff relief represents an extra AUD$5-10 million to Australia’s fresh vegetable exports per annum, Mahar said.

Carrots, Australia’s largest vegetable export, are at the forefront of the agreement with tariffs to be cut to 10% (down from 25%) for 5000 metric tons (MT) per year, increasing to 10,000MT after 10 years, and tariffs eliminated after 15 years.

There will also be improved access for key Australian citrus exports.

For mandarins, the tariff will be cut immediately to 10% (from 25%) for 7,500MT per year and reduced over time down to 0% after 20 years for an unlimited volume.

For oranges, there will be duty-free access for 10,000MT, increasing 5% each year, while for lemons and limes here will be duty-free access for 5,000MT, increasing 2.5% each year

Tariffs on potatoes will be cut immediately to 10% (from 25%) for 10,000MT per year, and after five years tariff further reduced to 5% for 12,500MT per year.

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com 

Costa announces half-yearly results

Firm reports lower profit number than expected but remains on target for medium to long term growth

Following reports of lower than expected sales ahead of Christmas, Costa Group has announced detail of its performance in the six months to 30 December 2018.

Costa CEO, Harry Debney said the results were anticipated to be considerably lower because of the muted trading performance during December.

“The six-month financial period to December has delivered a lower profit number than expected. There were several contributing factors to this, some of which had been accounted for including bringing African Blue on to our balance sheet as a result of majority ownership, additional preharvest farming cost investment through our increased international footprint and an ‘off’ citrus season in terms of the biennial nature of the crop,” said Debney.

The company said it remains on track to meet medium to long term profit growth objectives, which incorporate its five core product categories as well as international development.

Revenue decreased in the produce segment by 4.3 per cent compared with the six months prior, and total transacted sales were at A$615.7m compared with A$620.3m in the first half of 2018.

Citrus

The biennial nature of citrus is said to have caused the 4.3 per cent dip in revenue for Costa’s produce department. Lower quality toward the tail end of the season was also to blame.

“Exports for the 2018 calendar season comprised 73 per cent of packed volume, with Japan being the largest market taking 40 per cent of total exports, followed by the US, New Zealand and China,” said Debney. “Exposure to the Korean market is expected to increase in 2019 as tariffs are further reduced under the Australia – Korea Free Trade Agreement.”

Avocados

Costa’s avocados also journeyed to Asia this year for the first season. The company said 60,000 trays of exports were initiated to markets in South East Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

Domestic crop was mainly sourced from northern New South Wales, with some residual volume coming from Queensland. Central Queensland’s overlap with the end of Western Australia’s season resulted in a supply glut that lowered prices.

Berries

Strong production volumes for blueberries were also apparent at Costa’s Corindi farm in New South Wales but were offset by lower volumes from Queensland.

A new Arana premium variety attracted a 23 per cent premium on 200g packs at retail level and a double-digit premium at wholesale.

The company said raspberry contribution was disappointing.

Internationally, earnings from Costa’s Morocco, China and Americas-based operations are weighted to the first half of 2018, the company said.

Pre-harvest investment in Morocco and China through July-December decreased earnings which occur during the harvest period in the first half of the year.

“There has been a good early start to the blueberry harvest at the main Manlai farm with positive market reception reflected in premium pricing received for our large ‘jumbo’ berries,” said Debney.

The company said Driscoll’s US-based royalties produced continued revenue growth.

Tomato

Tomatoes also experienced an undesirable result with an excellent production of snacking varieties being met by weaker retail performance, resulting in more sales across the wholesale channel lowering price realisation. Truss production and pricing was also lower.

Costa will be showcasing a new truss variety in 2019 called Endeavour, which it said features enhanced yield, shelf life and disease resistance.

Mushroom

Mushrooms bucked the fluctuation trend and met financial targets for the period.

The recent higher cost of straw is expected to manifest over 2019 as Costa replenishes inventory stock. A new compost facility is also expected to have a positive impact and will operate from the fourth quarter of 2019.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Camellia Aebischer

Mexican asparagus in demand

With favourable weather and trade channels clean Mexico’s asparagus traders are enjoying a smooth season ahead
The 2019 Mexican asparagus deal is expected to perform like more of a bell-shaped production curve as opposed to the sharp spike of 2018.

Cold night time temperatures prior to the harvest are what asparagus farmers hope for every year because it forces the plant into dormancy, fortifying for the season just ahead.

“The last of the production out of (Southern) Baja California is just finishing and Peru is directing the last of its volume to Europe so the supply channels are quite clean at the moment,” said Jim Hanson of Grower Direct Marketing, a major importer-exporter of Mexican asparagus.

“Prices are ranging anywhere from US$35 to US$50 on 11lb (5kg) cartons at the moment. Doesn’t matter if it’s standards, large or jumbo – if you’ve got a box of ‘grass it will sell.”

“Last January (2018) was one of the heaviest ever (for shipments),” noted Hanson. “There’s a totally different ‘feel’ to the deal this year as production didn’t get going in any significant way until early February.”

“The bulk of the deal – barring weather – will hit between week 7 (10 February) and week 13 (26 March) this year. The Mexicali Valley will get going around 20 January followed by Caborca (Sonora) a little later. Beginning in early April, however, we’re expecting a significant downturn in production, which probably means very low supplies for Easter (21 April).”

With the current gap in production, shipments all but ceased to Japan during much of January. Since Japan demands a specific grade of asparagus, Hanson expects that exports probably won’t resume until late January or early February.

“It takes another seven to ten days after the domestic deal gets going to have enough asparagus to supply that market.”

 

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Jeff Long

Australian carrots leading veg export

However, all fresh vegetable exports are surging

Australian carrots continue to be a taste favourite for foreign consumers in terms of both export value and volume. Ausveg released new figures and insights into vegetable exports last week.

Ausveg reported the value and volume of fresh Australian vegetable exports increased in 2017/18, following strong trading conditions in key export markets in Asia and the Middle East.

Increased demand for Australian-grown vegetables in the region and increased activities and investment in securing the exporting capabilities of the industry’s growers have also contributed to the positive figures. The value of fresh Australian vegetable exports increased by three percent to $262.4 million in 2017/18. Over the same period, the volume of fresh vegetable exports also increased by 9 percent to 208,000 tonnes.

This continues a recent upward trend for vegetable exports and bolster's Ausveg's ambitious aim to see a 40% growth in the market to $315 million in fresh vegetable exports by 2020.

The top five markets for fresh vegetable exports by volume in 2017/18 -making up just more than 60% of Australia’s total fresh vegetable export volume- were:

- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- Singapore
- Malaysia
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia

In terms of exports by value however, Singapore was on top, followed by the UAE, Japan, Malaysia and Hong Kong, with the top three of these markets making up more than 50% of the industry’s total fresh vegetable export value.

Source: queenslandcountrylife.com.au via www.freshplaza.com 


Publication date : 12/10/2018

New market for West Australian sprouts in South Korea

West Australian-grown brussels sprouts are now making their way into Asia. This is partly due to efforts by local horticulture business Odeum Farms to diversify its market base. Nick Paterniti, export manager at Odeum Farms, said the 20-year-old company has been exporting brussels sprouts for a while now, with most going to South Korea. Last year’s 60 tons is set to increase to 90 tons during the 2018 season, and should reach 120 tons annually by 2020. “South Australia has for many years provided sprouts into South Korea and will continue to supply them during their six-month season,” Paterniti said. “Here in WA we can supply them for the other five or six months of the year.”

According to an article on thewest.com.au, Odeum’s exports are taking a market share from Belgium and the Netherlands during those months. Fuelling Mr Paterniti’s confidence that market share will continue to grow, is the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement. By January 2020, the previous 27 per cent tariff should have been eliminated, a process that has been happening in incremental stages since 2014.

Although making their biggest headway with sprouts, Odeum also started exporting other fruit and vegetables in the past two years, including melons to Malaysia and the UAE and strawberries to South-East Asia.

Publication date: 5/14/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Australian vegetable exports on the rise

Peak body says certain considerations make it difficult to measure export growth against fruit sector

Ausveg, the peak representative body for Australian vegetable and potato growers, says the progress its members have made in growing exports over recent years should not be overshadowed by comparisons with the value of Australian fruit exports.

Global Trade Atlas data has shown the value of Australian vegetable exports grew 2 per cent to A$252m in 2017.

Ausveg believes the industry is well placed to meet its goal of growing export revenue to A$315m by 2020.

While it might seem easy to assess the performance of vegetable exports against fruit exports, Ausveg’s national manager – export development, Michael Coote, said there were certain considerations that made this comparison problematic.

“Fruits are a higher value export group than vegetables as they are more seasonal commodities and can command higher prices from importing countries during their seasonal windows,” Coote explained.

“Vegetables, on the other hand, are a more consistent annual product group and tend to fill gaps in regions that are not so lucky to have year-round vegetable production like we do with most vegetable commodities in Australia.”

Coote said market access was another contributing factor.

“A number of different Australian fruits have had success growing their export trade into China, while Australia does not yet have access into this market for most vegetable commodities,” he explained.

“Despite these challenges, the industry has increased its focus on boosting the value and volume of its vegetable exports, with work being undertaken by Ausveg, Hort Innovation and other groups in building the exporting skills of Australian growers and providing opportunities to build relationships with foreign buyers.”

Carrots were Australia's best performing vegetable export in 2017, with shipments totalling 110,000 tonnes at a value of A$91m.

Together with onions and potatoes, carrots currently account for over 60 per cent of total Australian vegetable exports by value and over 80 per cent of vegetable exports by volume.

“The Australian vegetable industry is experiencing solid growth in its exports, particularly on the back of strong performing products such as carrots and broccoli to the Middle East and Asia,” Coote said.

“The industry is well on its way to reach the ambitious target of A$315m in fresh vegetable exports by 2020 as outlined by the industry’s export strategy. We are working with growers to ensure they have the skills and knowhow to improve their ability to export their produce and capitalise on increasing demand for fresh, Australian-grown vegetable produce.”

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Matthew Jones

Australian fruit exports up - vegetable exports down

While Australian fruit exports have exceed $AU1billion for the first time within a calendar year, fresh vegetable exports have suffered drops in key markets of over 50%.

Wayne Prowse of Fresh Intelligence Consulting told Fresh Plaza that, between 2016 - 17, vegetable exports declined in key markets such as Indonesia, Europe and Taiwan.

"The main reasons for this decline is a drop in demand for onions from Europe, a return to normal trade to Taiwan after increased demand in 2016 due to the typhoons damaging local crops, and the swinging door of Indonesia's import conditions," said Wayne.

Although the volume of fresh vegetable exports declined 13 per cent overall the value increase 2 per cent to $AU252M as the mix changed with more higher value products being exported such as lettuce and broccoli.

Fresh vegetable exports from Australia are sent to a wide range of destinations. While Singapore and Japan had traditionally been the major destinations; four years ago the United Arab Emirates surpassed Japan to become Australia's second largest fresh vegetable export destination.

Carrots remain the largest vegetable export at $AUD94M, followed by potatoes and onions.

In contrast fresh fruit exports in 2017 were up 15% on the previous year, bringing export totals to $AUD1.1B on 456,742 tonnes.

"There are a number of factors producing this improvement, including strong ongoing Asian market demand, favourable exchange rates, improved market access through lower tariffs from free trade agreements with China and Japan."

"We know China continues to drive the most growth where Australia continues to capitalise on the increased demand for counter seasonal fruit."

"The China growth off set a decline in trade to Hong Kong although the combined result is 83 per cent more than 5 years ago with China firmly in front."

Wayne said the Japanese market was driving demand for oranges, mandarins and table grapes.

"The Japanese market improved by 19% which is impressive for a mature market."

"Citrus and grapes accounted for 84 per cent of the total fresh fruit volume exported from Australia to all destination."

However, the future still remains positive for Australia's vegetable industry, with growers and AUSVEG clearly focused on increasing the value of vegetable exports to $A315 million, or by 40 per cent, by 2020.

The Vegetable Industry Export Strategy 2020 outlines a range of methods to help more growers and the wider industry export of Australian vegetables to overseas markets.

"The Australian vegetable industry has a huge appetite for export growth and there is a lot of untapped potential there," Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd said at the time of the strategy launch.

"Hort Innovation is working with growers and AUSVEG to do everything it can to drive this growth and develop a financially sustainable vegetable export sector".

In comparison, the new strategy, which was launched 12 months ago outlines an industry target of 310,000 tonnes of vegetable exports by 2020
Mr Lloyd said currently, vegetables make up around five per cent of national export production.

"With all the necessary mechanisms in place, the Australian vegetable industry could increase its exports by 40 per cent within four years, and come close to doubling exports within the next decade."

Sources: ABS(2018) via ITC Trademap; Fresh Intelligence and Vegetable Industry Export Strategy 2020.


Publication date: 3/14/2018
Author: Phil Pyke
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com

Australia and Victoria seed potatoes gain market access to Indonesia

Certified seed potatoes from South Australia and Victoria have been approved for market access to our nearest neighbour, Indonesia, at recent bilateral trade discussions held in Melbourne.

Market access to Indonesia enables certified seed potato growers in South Australia and Victoria to supply the Indonesian market with potentially 85,000 tonnes of certified seed potatoes with a market value of $AUD110m annually.

The agreement signed by Australia and Indonesia is the result of a near decade long collaboration between industry groups (ViCSPA, Potatoes South Australia), certified seed potato growers, exporters, state and federal governments and Indonesian agencies. The result is a win for certified seed potato growers and is a demonstration of what can be achieved when strong relationships and collaboration is built between industry and government, at all levels.

The Seed Certification Scheme operated by ViCSPA provides complete traceability and documented evidence which supports the high health status of certified seed potatoes produced in South Australia and Victoria. The ViCSPA Seed Certification Scheme is on par with the world’s best and the ViCSPA Board has invested heavily in developing robust database management systems which underpin the certification scheme to trace all seed plots submitted for certification.

The robustness of the ViCSPA seed certification scheme has been integral to this pursuit and subsequent success of new markets such as Indonesia. The ViCSPA scheme has highly trained certification officers for crop inspections and uses modern crop monitoring systems to certify seed potato crops. Indonesian officials audited both the ViCSPA seed scheme and the seed production areas. It is gratifying that they were impressed with the comprehensiveness and professionalism of the ViCSPA Seed Certification Scheme and the quality of the seed potatoes that are the result of the strict protocols adhered to.

The Chair of ViCSPA, Kay Spierings said, “ViCSPA is delighted that as an independent, industry based organisation, ViCSPA continues to be recognised as a leader in seed potato certification. The export potential of the Indonesian market is significant and we look forward continuing our strong collaborative relationships to build further opportunities for our growers.” Dr Nigel Crump, General Manager, ViCSPA said, “On the back of the recent success, ViCSPA will continue to strive for excellence in our seed certification program to maintain existing markets and pursue new markets. Recently, with a grant from Agriculture Victoria, we have developed a geospatial software tool that has been integrated with the existing seed potato certification database”.

“Importantly, the collection of geospatial data that relates to the field used to produce seed potato crops enhances the evidence of data that is required to support market access and subsequent trade”, he added.

For ViCSPA, the long history of soil sampling and laboratory testing all fields used to produce certified seed for pests and disease such as Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) and the ongoing leaf testing program for monitoring levels of Potato Virus Y were critical in securing market access to Indonesia. Surveillance of this type provides strong evidence to support claims made on the supply of high health certified seed potatoes.

Robbie Davis, CEO Potatoes South Australia stated that the industry was thrilled at this long-awaited protocol and that it provided a valuable new market. She said, “Of critical significance, the high quality of seed potatoes and professional approach by seed potato growers in South Australia and Victoria were major contributing factors in securing the trade. Strong collaboration has been key.”

It is envisaged that there will be an ongoing exchange of knowledge and capacity building between Australia and Indonesia and plans are already underway for ViCSPA to run pest and disease workshops in Indonesia later this year. It is important that the Indonesian and Australian potato industries work together into the future to continue to foster ‘business-to-business’ trade and improve potato production in both countries.

For for information:
Dr Nigel Crump (ViCSPA)
Email: nigel.crump@vicspa.org.au
Tel: +44 3 5962 0000


Publication date: 3/7/2018