The Australia grape export season is coming to a close and they have already hit the half billion AUD mark, this makes the grape industry the first fresh fruit industry to do this in Australia.
Jeff Scott CEO of the Australian Table Grape Association said this is down to an increase in production with new varieties and enhanced techniques from the growers producing better quality fruit. “We planted some new varieties 3-4 years ago which have come into production and there is still more to come. We have IP varieties but also our staple varieties such as Crimson and Thompsons, which are the biggest export varieties, are very much sought after.”
Asia is the main export market for Australian grapes and each individual country has seen an increase: China 36%, Indonesia 38%, Japan 22%, Vietnam 69%, Taiwan 36% and Korea 317%.
While all of these figures are impressive Jeff says that they are still rebuilding the Vietnam market after it was closed for few years and Korea with 317% started from a very low base.
“Australian grapes are very popular in Asia, consumers are very confident in the supply and they enjoy the sweet taste and although they may be more expensive than grapes from other countries consumers are willing to pay the higher price for good quality fruit. China prefers the red varieties whereas Japan and Korea like the Thompsons.
Export from Australia into Asia starts early January and grapes are still arriving in June
“The Table Grape industry is very pleased to be the first industry to break the half billion-dollar mark, we are looking at finishing the season at around AUD 600 million. The industry wants to continue to be at the forefront of development and keep returns up for the growers. One thing we will prioritise is to continue discussions with Asian countries to change the protocol conditions to allow airfreight in January to take advantage of the early production and the festival season in Asia.
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