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Australian summer fruit gets off to an early start

Favourable growing conditions have produced excellent crops of sweet, juicy Australian summer stonefruit that can be air-freighted or undergo in-transit cold treatment via sea shipment to arrive in peak condition.

Australian peaches and nectarines are now available for export. Warmer conditions in August and September in most districts have lead to an early start to the season.

Summerfruit Australia Chief Executive Officer John Moore said overall the Australian summer stonefruit crop was lighter than last year when there were bumper crops.

"Despite being lighter than last season, there is still ample product available at good quality, with the exception of apricots which are significantly lower in volume but fruit quality is generally very good so far" he said.

"Sugars are building, though fruit size is lower due to an earlier season. Larger fruit size is not expected to be available in volume until December, fruit colour is also typically good."

He said exports of peaches and nectarines commenced from Australia in early November and would continue through until March. He encouraged buyers to get in touch with exporters to secure supplies.

In the lead-up to Christmas white fleshed nectarines including Polar Lite, Diamond Pearl, Spring Pearl and Kay Pearl; and white fleshed peaches such as Spring Snow, Ivory Duchess and Ivory Princess offer international buyers a great tasting, sweet and juicy option. Most of these are shipped by air, with the best sea freight options Diamond Pearl and Kay Pearl.

Peak sales of peaches and nectarines and expected in the second half of December through to the end of February.

Mr Moore said export quality apricots would be available from the middle of November through to Christmas and would be followed by plums.

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