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Insights February 2023

14 February 2023 |Horticulture

Insights February 2023

14 February 2023 |Horticulture
The February update provides an analysis of production and pricing trends for Australian horticulture producers.

Commodity overview

  • Table grape harvest remains behind schedule. Strong prices should help growers offset high labour costs.
  • Almond harvest is due to kick off towards the end of the month. Quality has been impacted by last year’s heavy rains.
  • Planting of large vegetable crops, led by tomato and capsicums, is also about to kick off in key Queensland production areas.


Shepard avocado harvest is due kick off in the North Queensland region of Bundaberg in early March. Quality is looking good so far with decent sizes reported. Reduced avocado volumes are now coming out of Western Australia. This is due to Hass production coming to an end which has pushed prices higher. This is proving particularly favourable for Queensland growers. Strong Shepard avocado production is expected throughout the state despite recent inclement weather. Heavy rainfall has also hit growing regions in New Zealand. This has cut New Zealand’s avocado export season short, further inflating Australian avocado prices.

Meanwhile wet and humid weather in Queensland has caused some reports of fruit loss. However, the banana crop has held up relatively well, with no significant supply issues. Unfortunately, it is expected that this weather will impact bananas should it continue. Demand for Cavandish bananas has spiked with school returning at the end of January, which is keeping prices supported in the short term.

Table grape harvest remains well behind schedule for this time of year. Only some earlier varieties are being harvested at the moment. Warm weather forecast across the Sunraysia region should see harvest activity pick up over the coming month. Prices remain historically strong which will hold growers in good stead, helping to offset the currently high cost of labour.


Limited potato production throughout southern Australia is continuing to impact frozen chip supplies. Volumes coming out of the key producing states will remain constrained for the next couple of months. Conversely, Queensland potato production remains decent with volumes steady. Planting of large vegetable crops, led by tomato and capsicums, is also about to kick off in key northern Queensland production areas. A mild summer in Western Australia is also holding vegetable producers in the southern regions of the state in good stead. Strong carrot and onion output is anticipated as a result.


Almond harvest is due to kick off towards the end of the month. Weather forecasts are looking mostly favourable across key harvest regions. Unfortunately, the wet weather that lashed Sunraysia and the Riverland in October has had an impact upon quality. Due to this, Australia’s almond producers are expecting reduced yields for this season’s crop. Global almond prices have also come under pressure over the last quarter on the back of significant global stocks. Export demand for almonds remains decent and is expected to strengthen over the coming month. This is driven by improved demand from China and the recent trade agreement with India coming into effect.


* The root vegetable index includes potatoes, carrots, beetroot, parsnips and swedes.
Sources: Ausmarket Consultants, Rural Bank

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