Dandaragan-based AGRIFresh director Daniel Ying has stated that domestic citrus prices were down on last year. China's taste for Australian fruit hasn't waned, but getting product onto shelves is proving tough. AGRIFresh, one of Western Australia's largest citrus producers, says it has been unable to send its fruit to China due to hold-ups at Chinese ports.
Ying said domestic prices were down on last year with the WA market was awash with fruit from the eastern states. "This season, I think, with a lot of international pressures – especially with the relationship between China and Australia – has put a lot of pressure on the domestic market. We're not seeing a lot of containers exported to China this year compared to previous years. With that, a lot of the early season fruit from the eastern states is coming and landing in the WA market."
While demand remains strong from Japan and the Middle East, Mr Ying says the industry has been left without one of its most important buyers. "I don't think it's that China doesn't want Australian citrus," he told abc.net.au. "I think it's more the delay, the logistics part of getting it to the consumer. From what I hear, there's been a lot of hold-ups at ports, which doesn't help moving product from the farm to the consumer, especially when it's already been on the water for so many days."
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