Almond production is booming, with around 123,000 tons expected to be harvested in Australia this year; it could be the largest on record. Although 80 per cent of the world's almonds are coming from California, Australian almonds are proving their place in the market. For every ton of almonds sold in Australia, three tons are exported, to around 50 countries across the world.
Chief executive of Almond Board Australia, Ross Skinner, said the projected 10 per cent increase in harvest this year was due to the second wave of expansion from plantings in 2016: "[The record harvest] is mainly based on the increased planting coming into production. We've increased our planting over the past five years, and those trees are starting to mature into much larger trees and bearing much more crop."
With the harvest due to start any week now, Skinner said the mechanical process of producing almonds, as well as the demand for the product at home and overseas, had meant the industry had avoided major hurdles that were currently facing other horticultural industry from COVID-19 movement restrictions.
The fallout with China that resulted in some heavy tariffs, is not something that is expected to be a concern for almonds. "Much of the 2020 crop was pre-sold before the issue with trade relations with China emerged so we were confident that those contracts would be honoured and that has been the case," Skinner told abc.net.au. "All indicators show that the relationship will remain strong, and we have been fortunate that we have alternate markets if things turn sour, but at this stage, things look promising."
Photo source: Dreamstime.com