AHEIA - Providing leadership to support and strengthen Australia's trade in horticultural produce.

Latest News

China hits back with tariffs

Following a recent increase to 25 per cent on Chinese goods to the US, China has retaliated against US imports
China has retaliated to a tariff increase from the US made last Friday 9 May, following a lag in agreement to level-out overall trade between the two nations.

Tariffs on around US$60bn of goods imported from the US to China will now be impacted. These do not include fresh fruits and vegetables but impact a number of processed fruit items and agricultural products, and add to the overall trade tension.

China’s ministry of finance said in a statement that the measures had led to escalation of trade frictions, contrary to the consensus between China and the United States on resolving trade differences through consultations. It said the move has jeopardised the interests of both sides and not met the general expectations of the international community.

The ministry noted that according to national foreign trade law and tariff regulations, the State Council Tariff Commission has decided on 1 June, 2019 tariffs will subsequently increase on imported goods.

There are four separate increases on different listed items. There will be a 25 per cent increase in tariff on 2,493 items; 20 per cent increase on 1,078 items, 10 per cent increase on 947 items, and a 5 per cent increase on 595 items.

A number of frozen fruit and vegetable lines like peas, spinach, berries, nuts, sweet potato and corn are impacted, as well as processing equipment like washing, sorting and grading machinery.

Feeling the strain

The ongoing tariff dispute, now in place for over a year, has made a mark on fresh produce trade between the two nations.

Data analysed by Fresh Intelligence Consulting shows China is becoming less reliant on the US as a supplier of imported fruit. Its main imports by value are cherries, oranges, table grapes and apples.

In 12 months to March 2019 China imported 79,439 tonnes of fresh fruit valued at US$219.3m. That was 47 per cent lower in value terms than in the same period the year prior.

In the first quarter of 2019, orange imports were 80 per cent lower in value compared with the same quarter in 2018, down to 7,500 tonnes from 33,000 tonnes respectively.

Egypt was noted as picking up some of the additional volume with a 10,000 tonne increase in the march quarter of 2019 compared with the year prior.

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

Author: Camellia Aebischer

US implements 25 per cent tariff

Threatened increase in tariffs on Chinese goods now in place with deal still pending between US and China


US president, Donald Trump, has implemented taxes of 25 per cent on US$200bn worth of goods, including cauliflower, carrots, leeks, turnips, mushrooms, garlic, onions, nuts, peaches, strawberries, raspberries and cranberries.

Tariff increases came into play last Friday 10 May, up from a previous 10 per cent. South China Morning Post reported goods already bound for the US from China will not need to adhere to the 25 per cent tax providing they can prove goods were purchased before last Friday.

The decision has come after the US and China could not reach a trading agreement, following a year of back and forth turmoil, ignited by increased tariffs on steel and aluminium imports from China by Trump.

BBC News reported that Deborah Elms, executive director at the Asian Trade Centre was quick to point out that the rise in tariffs is likely to have a negative effect on US companies and consumers.

“Those are all US companies who are suddenly facing a 25 per cent increase in cost, and then you have to remember that the Chinese are going to retaliate,” she said.

Following the increase on US$200bn of goods, Reuters reported Trump has ordered a tariff hike on all remaining imports from China to the US, which will impact an additional US$300bn of goods. The final decision on this order has not yet been made, according to reports.

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

Author: Camellia Aebischer

 

Citrus Australia: Harsher penalties for people who threaten industry

Industry organisation Citrus Australia has stated it is extremely disappointed at the ‘slap on the wrist’ issued to an Australian resident who attempted to smuggle infected budwood into the country. The perpetrator was fined $7,000 for importing the prohibited item and providing false and misleading information to Customs officers. The citrus plant cutting tested positive to two viruses that could cause diseases in citrus and also contained insects.

CEO Nathan Hancock has expressed his sincere thanks to the customs officer who found the cutting but said it was disappointing the judge did not take the opportunity to issue a severe penalty as a warning to others.

“A fine of $7,000 for importing a prohibited item and providing false and misleading information to Customs officers is grossly inadequate when you consider the economic damage that could have occurred,” Hancock said. “The citrus industry, working with Government departments and other bodies, is currently working to eradicate the exotic disease citrus canker from the Northern Territory and northern Western Australia. Whilst confident we will achieve our goal, the cost to eradicate this could be in the tens of millions of dollars and has severely disrupted several growers’ lives in Kununurra and areas around Darwin.”

Hancock said deliberate acts like this put the livelihoods of thousands of Australians working in rural and regional Australia at risk, and could decimate the $800 million dollar citrus industry. Australians who now fail to declare plant or animal matter can receive fines up to $63,000 and up to five years in jail.

According to citrusaustralia.com.au, Hancock has asked judges in future cases to consider the impact imported pests and disease would have on the Australian horticulture industry and set an example through far tougher penalties in the future.

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Seeka's kiwifruit harvest in full swing

Seeka's kiwifruit harvest is in full swing across both New Zealand and Australia with the company cautiously assessing the effect of the dry summer with both countries experiencing hot dry conditions. Rainfall in New Zealand was unseasonably low through the first quarter, and in Australia, Shepparton was in drought conditions with temperatures regularly above 40 degrees.

Generally, harvest 2019 began early attributed to dry late summer conditions. In New Zealand; the SunGold harvest is nearing completion with Seeka over 96% packed. Attention is now focusing on Hayward.

In the case of Hayward, Seeka has processed approximately 30% of its crop. Yields from early orchards were below estimate and the company is watching the next phase of the harvest to ascertain full year crop volume.

Seeka has significantly refurbished its Oakside site including a significant machine upgrade, and had constructed a new packhouse and packing machine at its newly acquired Kerikeri site. Both machines have commissioned well and hit their targeted volumes.

The company also purchased the business of Aongatete Coolstores Limited just prior to the season adding between 4m and 4.5m trays of supply to the group. The Aongatete purchase included experienced staff supported by loyal growers.

Safety through the early part of the season had been a particular focus for Seeka as part of its sustainability drive. The SunGold crop which is increasing in volume puts pressure on labour numbers for a short period. A labour shortage has been declared, and has resulted in some easing of the shortage, but some shifts remain difficult to fully resource. Adding to this pressure, the structure of the early season meant that post-harvest operators worked long hours to achieve premiums for their growers in achieving payment deadlines. Seeka has advocated changes to the structure to deliver a better safety profile.

Seeka has completed the harvest of its Red variety which was successfully picked, packed and exported to Australia. The spectacular fruit has a striking red central star burst on a golden background and with its sweet, berry flavour which has been well received by consumers.

The harvest of Seeka's green kiwifruit grown in Australia is also underway for the domestic and export markets. The team has worked well under dry conditions to produce a great quality crop.

Given the early start, the season is expected to finish in late May. Seeka is satisfied with the service delivered to our growers to date and the fruit's quality and performance to the market. It looks forward to continuing a safe and successful 2019 kiwifruit harvest.

For more information:
Kim McFadden
Seeka
Kim.McFadden@seeka.co.nz

 

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Australian grapes grow in Korea

Export volumes of Australian table grapes have nearly quadrupled to Korea following tariff-free access.


In 2018 the Taste Australia campaign was brought to Korea to introduce Australia's premium grapes to Korean consumers.

Initially, the campaign was run and grapes stocked exclusively, at Hyundai Department Stores, but this year export volumes have increased and Korean retailers Emart and Shinsegae Department Store have joined Hyundai as stockists.

Grapes can be purchased at all Emart outlets, and selected Hyundai and Shinsegae stores, as well as a number of franchise fruit shops and wholesale markets. Samples of table grapes were handed out between 28 March and 14 April to consumers in-store covering a range of different varieties.

In 2018 the import duty for Australian table grapes was also eliminated under the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Australia’s table grape export season runs from January to May, and in the year ending June 2018, export volumes to Korea had almost quadrupled, up 379 per cent; albeit, from a small base, and in line with eliminations of the tariff, which reduced from 45 per cent to 6 per cent in 2017.

Since 2017, Australian table grapes have been promoted in the Korean market under a new brand name, Tams Gold. The name is a combination of the word ‘tams-rudba’, which Austrade says translates to ‘attractive, nice, ripe and delicious looking’, and the word gold which symbolises the golden/green colour of grapes.

At the time of the re-brand, Australian ambassador to Korea, James Choi, said the aim of the branding was to help assist Korean importers to satisfy the demand for quality grapes in Korea.

Joon Choi of major importer Soo Il Commerce said in mid-March he was gearing up for an aggressive approach toward grape promotions and has noted growth in the category due to increased volumes from the US.

Choi also said a range of new grape varieties entering Korea has peaked consumer interest.

This article was originally published in the June 2019 edition of Asiafruit Magazine

http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit 

Author: Camellia Aebischer

Outperforming our competitors crucial for vegetable industry

Maintaining and expanding our export market access is crucial for the ongoing growth of Australia’s vegetable and potato export industry, according to peak industry body AUSVEG.

Vegetable export volume has risen more than 15 per cent last year due to strong growth from Singapore, Japan and Thailand, with carrots being the strongest export performer at 113,000 tonnes and increasing in value by 5.1 per cent to $98 million in export value.
But AUSVEG National Manager – Export Development Michael Coote said there is still plenty of room for vegetable and potato exports to grow.

“With improved prioritisation of Australian vegetable products in trade negotiations, our industry can continue to reach new heights,” Mr Coote said. “Australia has built a strong reputation as a quality exporter of fresh produce but it must continue to gain access to more markets so our growers can continue to benefit.”

Mr Coote said improving access for vegetables to markets such as Japan and Korea, while increasing volumes to existing markets across Asia and the Middle East would also pay dividends for vegetable growers around the country.

“New and emerging markets are essential to the survival of our domestic vegetable industry,” he said.

Supply chain costs continue to increase following government policy changes, such as through the recent implementation of security screening requirements for all international air-freight cargo. AUSVEG has asked government to place greater prioritisation of horticulture products in trade negotiations and to also implement an industry/government committee which oversees whole-of-government regulatory cost increases.

“Australia is in a competitive global environment and it must be able to provide quality fresh produce at an affordable price,” Mr Coote said.
“So any potential cost increases which can flow back to the grower can severely impact their global competitiveness and profitability. That is why an industry/government-led committee to oversee any regulatory costs would be beneficial.”

AUSVEG’s 2019 Federal Election priorities can be viewed at: https://ausveg.com.au/sprout-growing-a-better-future/

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Indian mango exports - Mango consignments leaving for US & Australia

As Alphonso mangoes are in great demand in many markets abroad, they form a substantial chunk of India’s export basket. The mango export season has started in Maharashtra, with 28 tons of the fruit leaving for American and Australian shores.

Officers of the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) said they are aiming for a 15-20 per cent increase compared to last year’s exports. This year, Board officials have set a target of 800 tons of exports for US markets.

MSAMB officials said the 28 tons of mangoes, meant for American and Australian markets, have been treated in an irradiation facility in Vashi. Similarly, 7.5 tons of mangoes for Russian and New Zealand markets have received the vapour heat treatment.

In order to facilitate exports, the MSAMB recently organised two workshops in Konkan for farmers, as well as for buyers and sellers. Workshops were also conducted on how to produce export-quality fruits.

Source: indianexpress.com via www.freshplaza.com 

AHEIA pleased that government focus has turned to horticulture exports

The Australian Horticulture Exporter's and Importers' Association has welcomed the Federal Coalition Government's multi-million-dollar commitment to growing horticulture exports, provided in this month's budget.

A total of $29.4 million worth of measures were announced, to target agricultural sectors with high export growth potential. Exact details are still vague, given the Federal Government went into caretaker mode soon after the budget was released, due to the pending election on May 18. The AHEIA says this is the first time it can remember focus being placed on horticulture exports.

"It's great to see horticulture is taking the spotlight on the agriculture trade agenda because it is an incredibly positive story for the Australian economy," CEO Dominic Jenkin said. "It hasn't attracted as much attention (in the past) so it was great to see that as the centrepiece of agriculture trade announcements. Furthermore, the focus on gaining additional market access and improving the conditions for trade into our major markets. However, there is precious little detail in the statement, so time will tell where the investments go, and the quality of those investments."

One of the major commitments was to provide $11.4 million over four years to break through the technical and scientific trade barriers so Australian fruit and vegetables can get market access into more countries. The AHEIA welcomes any way to streamline that process.

“Horticultural trade is often limited by sanitary and phytosanitary measures,” Mr Jenkin said. “This can occur as either delays in the assessment and establishment of appropriate measures, or the imposition of impractical measures. Investment in improving horticultural market access and trade should promote greater transparency and understanding in the application of phytosanitary measures. This would include timely approval of market access applications and to promptly and transparently conduct risk assessments when required. Attention should be paid to improving the technical dialogue with our trading partners to ensure the most practicable solutions are selected and implemented."

He added that the problem with that is that is that while the process is intended to be purely scientific, it can often become political, in terms of "the way that it is drafted, the timeliness, and whom they engage to draft it".

"Market access is an inherently political process, and trade in every sense is reciprocal," he said. "We will need to have a hard look at access and conditions that we impose upon exporters to our market, and our operational practices to support that trade. So, I think it is relational, so I think we need to be spending money to improve the relationship with our most important trading partners. We have been challenged by our broader government perspectives, in terms of our relationships with our more important trading partners. It's important that we move to improve those, and show real value to our trading partners, show we care about what they are interested in and compromise to find mutual benefits, rather than engage in confrontational approaches."

Mr Jenkin would also like to see a greater focus on improving relationships with trading partners, which can sometimes involve delicate political negotiations.

"Relationships are rarely maintained through the pragmatic argument of facts, but rather deep understanding," he said. "If we know only our own needs and we ignore the needs of our trading partners we cannot expect relationships to prosper. We must look deeply in order to identify and understand the needs, aspirations and adversities they encounter. This is the groundwork required for relationships to prosper."

The Federal Government stated that only 18 per cent of horticulture production was exported, meaning that there is huge potential for growth. The industry is currently taking a diverse approach, supplying to around 30 countries. However, one of the most important areas for growth in recent years has of course been China.

The AHEIA says one of the eventual key winners of this investment will be regional communities.

"At the end of the day, it is all flowing back to the farms and our regional communities," Mr Jenkin said. "In horticulture, up to 50 per cent of the cost of production is the labour component. Whilst it is a huge problem in terms of accessing this labour, it is also a positive for the communities that support those populations. It is extremely positive to see the investment in this area, and we would certainly welcome engagement with any government around the world in improving horticulture trade. Trade also means importing products as well, and we see maintaining that balance is vital in maintaining our status in our most important markets."

For more information
Dominic Jenkin
Australian Horticulture Exporter's and Importers' Association
Phone: +61 423 394 476
admin@horticulturetrade.com.au  
www.horticulturetrade.com.au 


Publication date: 4/17/2019
Author: matthew@freshplaza.com
© FreshPlaza.com

Vietnam: CPTPP should help to export more to Australia

Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, Director of the WTO Integration Centre of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), stated that Vietnamese enterprises need to take advantage of tariff reductions under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) to increase exports to Australia.

Australia is one of the 20 largest economies in the world, with outstanding potential in science and technology, mineral exploitation, high-quality services and agricultural products. Australia is also a market with high purchasing power and stability. Vietnam and Australia are both members of CPTPP, which will help promote trade and expand the scale of investment and cooperation between the two sides in the future.

Although each side had its own potential, strengths and a variety of commodities, the value of Vietnam's exports to Australia was still modest. Vietnam could also strengthen cooperation with Australia by increasing imports, including technologies that Australia has advantages in as well as consultation services.

When exporting to Australia, Vietnamese enterprises needed to understand the market trend, consumer tastes and regulations on food safety and origins to meet the requirements of importers, said Phung Thi Lan Phuong, head of the FTA Division of the WTO and Integration Centre of the VCCI.

According to sggpnews.org.vn¸ Dinh Thi My Loan, Chairwoman of the Vietnam Retailers Association, stressed the strong competition in the import and retail areas in Australia, while suggesting Vietnamese firms building long-term business strategies which focus on product introduction and branding, trust creation and relationships to approach Australia's retail system.

The quality of goods is still inadequate compared to competitors such as China, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Loan said that in order to stand firm in the Australian market, Vietnamese enterprises must regard quality as the top priority rather than focusing on quantity and price.


Publication date: 4/15/2019

Source: https://www.freshplaza.com 

Indonesia tastes Australian grapes

Promotional tasting events held across Indonesia in line with increased volumes due to new varieties
This year, Indonesia will enjoy a 20 per cent increase in volume of Australian table grapes on the market.

The island-nation exported more than 15,000 tonnes of grapes in 2018 and is expecting to increase on that number in 2019. New varieties coming into maturity are cited for the increase in volumes, as well as favourable growing conditions producing a quality yield.

Australia exports a wide range of seed and seedless varieties of grapes to Indonesia including Red Globe, Crimson Seedless, Thompson Seedless, Autumn Royal, Moondrop and Midnight Beauty.

Promotional events held across Indonesian retailers by marketing board Taste Australia, tout Australian table grapes for their nutritional value and convenience.

Tasting events will be held throughout April at participating supermarkets including FoodHall, LionSuperindo, Aeon, Frestive, Carrefour and Hypermart.

Hort Innovation trade lead, Dianne Phan, said the short shipping times between Australia and Indonesia meant Aussie grapes were able to get into the Indonesian market quickly and in top condition.

“Australia has an excellent reputation as a supplier of nutritious and high-quality fresh fruit. Our unique, pristine environment makes it the ideal place to grow fresh produce,” she said.

“We are delighted to be able to provide a range of fresh grapes direct from our vineyards to customers in Indonesia.”

 

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

Author: Camellia Aebischer 

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