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Australian-Chinese relations impact table grape and citrus exports

Political troubles with China have affected the Australian table grape export market to the tune of $168.4 million. While much attention has gone to losses by the wine sector due to Chinese tariff increases, the fresh fruit equivalent has experienced the largest decline in export value in 2020/21 of the Australian fruit sector, down 25.8 per cent to $485 million.

While China remained Australia's largest table grape export destination, export value to the country declined by 40pc in 2020/21. A recent report stated: "This was the first time since 2010/11 that table grape export values have declined, primarily due to ongoing trade tensions with China. Exports declined in response to reported delays of up to 20 days at Chinese customs which impacted the quality and value of fruit."

The volume of grape exports was 18 per cent lower in 2020/21 and the average export price fell by 6.4pc. The fruit sector generally took a hit with exports declining for the first time since 2010/11 with a fall of $267.5 million (down 17.4pc).

The overall decline in export value was driven by an 18pc cent fall in export volume with the average export price of fruit essentially unchanged for the year, the Rural Bank report said.


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