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Australian citrus exports saw another record

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Staff Writer | January 27, 2017
Another record year for citrus exportsrade data released this week for the period January-November 2016 (inclusive) confirm that the 2016 season was another record year for Australian citrus exports.
Australian citrus
Food trade   Just under 220,000 tonnes
Total citrus exports until the end of November were just under 220,000 tonnes to a value of $335 million.

Citrus Australia Market Access Manager, David Daniels, said this represents an increase (in volume) of 10% for the same period last year.

“However, in value terms, this represents an increase of 24%,” he 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.”

As predicted, the China market has continued to grow to a volume of 40,000 tonnes to a value of $A72 million.

“We have also seen growth in Japan of around 25% to a value of $A53 million. 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.

“Despite some serious regulatory challenges, Indonesia really fired this year with volumes around the 13,000 tonne mark.”

The Philippines and Canada have been two recent surprises with trade volumes around 6000 tonnes in each market.

Thailand has become a strong market for Queensland Murcotts with volumes of just under 8000 tonnes.

“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.”

David said it was difficult to predict how markets will perform this coming season but said demand for Australian fruit certainly seems strong.

“As long as we have the right size and quality, there is no reason to expect that this season will be any different.”