A record table grape is projected for Australia’s 2020/21 campaign, with output up 7% to 240,000 tons. As FAS Canberra reports, the rising production that the country has recorded in recent years is due to vines reaching maturity. Over the past decade, table grape production has grown by 142%. Exports in 2020/21 are forecast up 10% to 168,000 tons. Over 50% of production is for export, with a record 152,500 tons shipped overseas in 2019/20, thanks to expanded exports to China and Southeast Asia, despite COVID-19- related shipping disruptions and a lack of pickers. Australia is the third-largest grape supplier to China, after Chile and Peru.
In addition, high returns driven by strong export demand in recent years have encouraged plantings and conversion of wine grape areas to table grape vine plantings. The table grape industry estimates about a 20% increase in annual plantings in recent years, but they anticipate a decline in the rate of new plantings in coming years, although output should continue to grow for some time still.