Insights April 2023
Insights April 2023
- Apple prices are expected to remain elevated with orchards in key growing regions impacted by flooding. Total apple production is forecast eight per cent lower compared to last season.
- Local potato supply is improving as harvest across Tasmania and Victoria picks up, though yields remain below average.
- Almond harvest is continuing with volumes coming in well below initial forecasts.
Apple harvest is continuing at pace across key growing regions as we head into April. The Pink Lady variety is now just coming into season while Royal Gala and Granny Smith varieties are now in peak supply. Prices generally are expected to remain elevated. This is due to the impact of flooding on orchards in key growing regions around the Goulburn Valley in late 2022. Both overall supply and quality from these regions have been negatively impacted. Total production is forecast almost eight per cent lower compared to 2022 by the main industry body. Tasmanian apple growers are reaping the benefits with a large crop and good quality reported across the state. Tasmanian apples are seeing top prices this season as a result. Australian Hass avocado growers were permitted access to the Indian market in early March, pending trial shipments. Access to the Indian market is especially important for growers on the east coast over the coming years. Avocado trees are continuing to mature, which is driving production higher. The domestic market has struggled to absorb this additional supply over the last couple of years. A result, new export markets are increasingly important to avocado producers.
Onion volumes remain around average with decent yields and sizes reported. Export enquiries from Europe remain high with supply across most European nations well below average. Reduced production across New Zealand following wet weather and a cyclone has also impacted their exports. This has pushed additional export demand for onions onto Australian producers. Onion prices remain above average with wholesale onion prices out of Tasmania sitting at $1.62/kg. This compares to $0.90/kg at the same time last year. Potato supply is beginning to improve as harvest across Tasmania and parts of Victoria picks up. Yields are below average following the wet spring and summer which impacted paddock preparation. Wholesale pricing is sitting around $2.10/kg, with this expected to decline over the next month. This is improving the availability of frozen chips with potato prices also easing. Other key vegetable crops including broccoli, capsicum and carrots remain over supplied. These vegetable varieties are also seeing prices trend lower.
Almond harvest is continuing with volumes coming in well below initial forecasts. Select Harvest, a key almond producer, are forecasting volumes to come in 25-25 per cent below early estimates. These lower volumes have been driven by the wet and cold weather seen across the spring and early summer months. Difficulty pollinating almond crops following the Varroa mite outbreak in New South Wales last year has also weighed on total almond output. Almond prices are expected to improve in line with this lower production and continued strong demand from the Chinese market.
* The bulb vegetable index includes onions, garlic, fennel, leeks, shallots and spring onion
** The pome fruit index includes apples and pears. Sources: Ausmarket Consultants, Rural Bank
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