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Insights August 2021

11 August 2021 |Horticulture
Workers in the field

Insights August 2021

11 August 2021 |Horticulture
The August update provides an analysis of production and pricing trends for Australian horticulture producers.

Commodity Overview

  • Mango growers in the Northern Territory have already started picking the first mangoes for the 2021/22 season.
  • Avocado production across Australia continues to boom. Supply will continue to expand throughout August and into September with all states except for Queensland entering peak production.
  • Brown onion prices are currently at their lowest point since 2018. These prices are unlikely to rebound until exports return to normal levels.

Australian fruit and vegetable production will remain strong coming into August, driven by favourable growing conditions and additional plantings. Despite these positive factors, growers continue to struggle with several challenges. Rising shipping costs, driven by increased demand from China, are impacting local exporters. Shipping containers now cost more than double compared to pre-COVID levels. Sourcing seasonal labour also continues to be an issue for some growers.

Fruit

Avocado production across Australia continues to boom. Supply will continue to expand throughout August and into September with all states except for Queensland entering peak production. This strong production will see avocado prices remain at record lows throughout August and into September. Queensland production is beginning to slow with growers starting to focus on flowering. Supply is expected to continue to expand over the long term with less than half of planted avocado trees in Queensland currently producing fruit.

Australian citrus producers are expecting harvest to continue later than usual this year. This later harvest is due to the ongoing shortage of labour and export issues. In terms of production, strong seasonal conditions and extra plantings will ensure supply remains above average. These favourable growing conditions have also left citrus quality generally high. Local demand for oranges remains robust. Unfortunately, the ongoing impact of lockdown has reduced demand for both limes and lemons due to the downturn in both the New South Wales food service and cruise industries.

Mango growers in the Northern Territory have already started picking the first mangoes for the 2021/22 season. Current volumes picked in the Northern Territory are sporadic due to the nature of the early harvest. Volumes picked will stabilize coming into August with the season peaking in late September. Given the early harvest, current prices remain high, though are likely to decline over the coming month. In contrast, mango growers in north Queensland are expecting harvest to take place a little later than usual this year. This later harvest is due to the cool weather currently delaying mango flowering.

Vegetables

Ongoing lockdowns across New South Wales will likely see foodservice demand for Australian vegetables fall. This will negatively impact demand in the short term. Broccoli production is expected to begin to pick up throughout August. This will be driven by the southern states as they enter the peak broccoli harvest period. Producers will be hoping labour is easier to source in comparison to last season.

Onion exports have declined significantly over the past 12 months. This is due to higher shipping costs compared to early 2020. The reduction in exports has led to a domestic oversupply due to the small local market. Brown onion prices are currently at their lowest point since 2018. These prices are unlikely to rebound until exports return to more normal levels.

   

 

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