Experts believe Japan could easily become Australia’s second-biggest trading partner after China, according to Australian Table Grape Association CEO Jeff Scott.
Scott said there has been growth in only two categories in the Japanese fresh produce market — table grapes and kiwifruit, reports The Weekly Times.
Japan is currently the fourth-largest export market for Australian table grapes and this year exports there are up 406% on the previous year.
Indeed, Australia’s table grape exports have taken off in general this year.
The country’s 2015-16 table grape export season has seen 108,594 tons exported by the end of May with an estimated value of AUD $364 million, up 32% on the same time last season.
China is the top destination, followed by Indonesia.
Scott stressed the importance of product differentiation in allowing Australian grape growers to compete with those in Chile, South Africa and Peru.
Australian growers need to supply fruit with high sugar content, crisp berries and consistent bunch colour in order to command a premium price over the significant volumes being produced by Chile, he said
Source: Table grapes in price spike as exports take off, Shannon Twomey, The Weekly Times