In 2020, there was an increasing demand for locally grown, fresh Australian vegetables. Recent trade data shows fresh vegetable exports grew by 6.6 percent in 2019, with potato, celery, broccoli and cauliflower in the forefront. Carrots had a big bite of the market, making up 34 percent of fresh exports. However, it was the slow-sprouting onion which flourished, growing in value by 67 percent to $40 million.
Tasmanian onion growers increased their state's portion by 97 percent, while the shares from Western Australia and South Australia grew 67 percent and 47 percent, respectively. The top five vegetable importers were Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Japan, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.
According to AUSVEG's national manager for export development, Michael Coote, the continual industry growth was impressive considering Australia's fresh vegetables, were costly to grow but relatively cheap to buy.
Rising costs of labour, electricity and water had the biggest impact on margins, while fluctuating exchange rates made it harder for vegetable growers to compete in a global market, Coote told goondiwindiargus.com.au. AUSVEG put the nationwide growth down to strong demand from European markets.