AU: Victorian Food and Fibre exports reach record levels
The state of Victoria has reached a record total of $12.8billion in food and fibre exports, helped by the performance of Citrus and Table grapes, especially in the Chinese market.
Despite being one of the smaller states, Victoria accounted for 25 per cent of Australia’s total, according to the 2016-17 Food and Fibre Export Performance Report - with 46 per cent of the country's horticulture exports.
Overall, the horticulture sector is valued at $1.1billion. But it was down financially, $86million on the previous year, or seven per cent, to $374million despite total volumes increasing by 23,000 tonnes.
China remained the highest value export market for the whole Food and Fibre industry, worth S3.6billion. While India more than doubled its export value, after increasing its imports from Victoria by 575,000 tonnes.
In horticulture, China is also the biggest market, valued at $203 million, with 74,000 tonnes of produce being exported in 2016-17. That value is a substantial increase from $137million in the previous year and is continuing the upward trend. India is the next best market for Victorian horticulture at $130million, followed by Hong Kong at $86million.
Source: 2016-17 Food and Fibre Export Performance Report
Fruit made up half of horticulture exports, with Nuts making up 31 per cent. Citrus exports had the biggest increase on the previous year rising by $16million to $120million, despite just a small increase in volume. This was largely helped by an increase in exports to China of 38 per cent. Another contributing factor was exporters focusing on higher-value markets, and more favourable exchange rate.
Table grapes also increased its exports to China by 45 per cent, with the commodity accounting for 32 per cent of Victorian horticulture exports world-wide.
Victorian vegetables grew by 18 per cent, to $57million, with Japan the biggest market with 33 per cent of total vegetable exports. Hong Kong proved the most valuable for stone fruit, with a volume of 3,314 tonnes and value of $16million. While market access was gained for nectarines to mainland China, and 2,144 tonnes was exported from Victoria.
Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford says a key strength of the Victorian food and fibre sector is its diversity and reputation for producing high quality, clean and healthy food for key export regions such as Asia.
"The resilience and ingenuity of our primary producers and food manufacturers continues to make Victoria the top food and fibre exporting state in the nation," she said.
Publication date: 11/9/2017
Author: Matthew Russell
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