Insights April 2021
Insights April 2021
• Floods, labour shortages and fruit fly outbreaks continue to deliver challenging market conditions for horticultural producers.
• Table grape harvest in the Sunraysia region is now almost 80 per cent complete with strong production numbers reported throughout the region.
• Favourable weather throughout South Australia and Victoria have enabled almond producers to harvest 50 per cent of its total crop with harvest expected to be complete within the next few weeks.
As Autumn harvest season begins, floods, labour shortages and fruit fly outbreaks continue to deliver challenging market conditions for horticultural producers, particularly producers located throughout the eastern states. Fruit and vegetable produce will likely see a rise in prices over the next month as crop losses and labour shortages continue to take their toll. Recent fruit fly outbreaks reported as far south as South Australia are impacting all types of produce with stone fruit, raspberries, tomatoes, apples, apricots, citrus and cumquat all on high fruit fly alert this year. The recent release of millions of sterile fruit flies across impacted regions will hopefully bring the outbreak under control.
In Queensland, the harvest of Shepard avocados is all but finished with Hass avocados now coming into season. High supply of avocados is seeing some growers delaying harvest in an effort to maximise their prices. The last month has seen avocado prices fall with this trend expected to continue over the coming months.
Table grape harvest in the Sunraysia region is now almost 80 per cent complete following a bout of warm weather over the Easter period with strong production numbers reported throughout the region. Quality remains high though issues with labour shortages, particularly for smaller growers remain. Challenges in exporting table grapes has persisted with reduced sea freight capacity seeing shipping costs rise, impacting the viability of exports.
Citrus season is fast approaching with oranges and mandarins anticipating harvests of 535,000 tonnes and 175,000 tonnes respectively, this is a significant increase on the drought impacted 2019/20 crop. While the overall numbers of citrus are expected to remain similar to previous years, a substantial increase in fruit size due to vastly improved season conditions is the primary reason for the forecast production increase.
Despite recent impacts of flooding in NSW, favourable weather throughout South Australia and Victoria has enabled almond producers to harvest over 50 per cent of its total crop. Producers expect harvest to be complete within the next few weeks. Record production of 123,000 tonnes of almonds is forecast to be harvested this year. As is the case with most exports, Australian almond processors are anticipating shipping delays to export markets due to container shortages.
* tropical fruit includes mangoes, bananas, paw paw, passionfruit and pineapples.
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Rural Bank and Ausmarket Consultants.