Six years after Australia gained market access for table grapes to Japan and South Korea in 2014, Victorian grapes growers and exporters are enjoying bumper sales to both Japan and South Korea.
Australia exported 16 containers of table grapes to Japan and one trial container to South Korea. By the end of 2019, sales to Japan had grown to $50.4 million and to South Korea $14.8 million.
Victorian table grape growers and exporters account for over 95 per cent of Australia’s table grape exports, so securing market access to Japan and South Korea was critical for the industry as it offered new markets and further diversification of risk.
The growth in sales to both markets is testament to the efforts of a number of organisations and initiatives undertaken over the past five years following a promotional launch in early 2014 supported by the Victorian Government, the Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA), Horticulture Innovation Australia Ltd (HIAL) and Austrade.
While exports to Japan grew quite quickly, sales to South Korea have increased at a more gradual pace since the implementation of the Korea–Australia Free Trade Agreement (KAFTA) in December 2014, which phased out tariffs from 45 per cent to zero, effective January 2020.
However, with the benefit of zero tariffs, table grape exports to South Korea for the month of April 2020 experienced a massive increase of 286 per cent compared to April 2019.