Australian horticulture exports on road to recovery

Australia's horticulture exports are recovering from the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and trade disruptions, according to new industry data released by Hort Innovation.
Wed 22/03/2023 by Richard Wilkinson

While exports still fall short of the 2019/20 level of $2.75billion, this year’s shipments were by 4% on last year to $2.47billion, despite supplying less volume internationally. 

Managing Director of Freshlogic, who collaborated on the Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook, Martin Kneebone, said: “Australia is a serious exporter, we are no longer spectators, speculators – and we are not in and out of markets because we can get better prices locally. Those days are gone and we have committed around 50-60 per cent of some of our larger crops to these markets. That’s a wonderful example for some of the smaller categories that are just starting off on that journey. We have a finite market locally; we have population growth of around 1-2 per cent, so if we are going to grow our industries it is because we are successful at export, and this is a good start.”

Hort Innovation industry analyst Lucy Noble said: “Exports make up 11.53% of the overall volumes of horticulture,” she said. “So, when we look at the growth that is seen in the value of the industry in the past 10 years, it is incredibly clear that exports have played one of the biggest, if not the biggest, roles in the industry over that time. In terms of looking at the full categories, the values went up for all apart from veg. Table grapes and oranges remain the two highest value fruit exports, representing a combined total of 57% of the fruit export value.”

In 2021/22, the production value of Australia’s horticulture industry grew to $15.62billion (up 3% on the previous year), with value growing from $6.15billion in 2012/13.


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