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Insights February 2022

14 February 2022 |Horticulture
Workers in the field

Insights February 2022

14 February 2022 |Horticulture
The February update provides an analysis of production and pricing trends for Australian horticulture producers.

Commodity Overview:

  • Avocado prices likely to dip over the coming month as Shepard avocados come to market by mid-February.
  • Table grape harvest is now getting underway across the Sunraysia region with the early season grapes bound for the domestic market.
  • Increased tomato volume and sizes have been seen across southern states with harvest continuing at pace.

Fruit

Shepard avocados will come to market by mid-February with product to continue through until the end of May. Growing conditions have been mostly ideal, particularly around the Atherton Tablelands region. Strong production is expected as a result. Avocado prices have slowly risen over the past couple of months as supply began to stabilise following a record production year. The onset of Shepard avocados may see prices dip again in the coming month.

Mango season is in its final stages with late-season varieties such as Keitt, Palmer and Kent due to hit stores in the coming weeks. Most of the regions have now finished harvest. Carnarvon, Western Australia, is in its final stages and crop volumes throughout southeast Queensland are also starting to slow. An estimated 7.86 million trays of mangos will be delivered this season, a large increase on last year’s volumes.

Table grape harvest is now getting underway across the Sunraysia region. Early season, lower quality grapes bound for the domestic market are currently making up most of the picked fruit. Higher quality fruit picked later in the season is bound for export markets with average to above average output expected. While exports to China will remain subdued this season, Aussie growers expect exports to South East Asia to grow. This is driven by a shortage of containers and increased shipping costs. South American table grape growers are preferring their fruit go to the United States rather than Asia this year to reduce shipping costs.

Vegetables

Increased tomato volume and sizes have been seen across southern states with harvest continuing at pace. The improved output is due to the consistent weather conditions seen towards the final weeks of summer. Prices will continue to stabilise as a result. This follows a slight jump in prices over December as harvest transitioned south resulting in a shortage of tomatoes.

Onion harvest is now well underway across most of the east coast, with Tasmanian harvest starting over the past fortnight. Quality across the east coast has been impacted by heavy summer rainfall, though Tasmania has reported decent quality. A slight drop in production is expected with some growers reducing plantings. This reduction was driven by uncertainties and inflated costs associated with shipping produce.

Nuts

Recent rainfall across the Riverland and Mallee almond growing regions haven’t impacted the 2022 crop size or quality. Australian almond harvest is due to begin in mid-February. Global almond prices have fallen over the past few months, driven by improved conditions throughout California. California is the largest global almond producer and weather across the region from January through to April is key to crop development.

 

** The Tropical Fruit Index includes bananas, mangoes, papaws, passionfruit and pineapples
* The Nightshade Vegetable Index includes capsicums, chillies, tomatoes and eggplants.
Sources: Ausmarket Consultants, Rural Bank

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