Fresh Aussie vegetable exports are increasing

Wednesday, 28 November, 2018

Fresh Aussie vegetable exports are increasing

Demand for fresh Australian vegetables is continuing to rise, but carrots are the leading traded commodity in both value and volume, according to AUSVEG.

The vegetable industry is on track to meet its goal of AU$315 million in fresh vegetable exports by 2020, driven by strong trading conditions and increased demand in key export markets in Asia and the Middle East, and increased activities and investment in securing the exporting capabilities of the industry’s growers.

In 2017/18, the value of fresh Australian vegetable exports increased by 3% to AU$262.4 million, while volume rose by 9% to 208,000 tonnes.

AUSVEG found the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Saudi Arabia were the top five markets for fresh vegetable exports by volume in 2017/18, making up just over 60% of the total. In terms of value, the top five markets were Singapore, the UAE, Japan, Malaysia and Hong Kong, with the top three of these markets making up over 50% of the total export value.

Michael Coote, AUSVEG National Manager – Export Development, said that the vegetable industry has seen solid growth in exports across a variety of fresh vegetable products in recent years, with the whole vegetable category averaging 10% year-on-year growth over the past three years.

“Over 85% of Australia’s fresh vegetable export volume is comprised of carrots, potatoes and onions. However, we still see positive growth in some other categories, including asparagus, which despite only comprising 2% of fresh vegetable exports by volume, make up 11% of fresh vegetable export trade by value and are the second highest value fresh vegetable commodity at AU$28 million,” he said.

AUSVEG undertook a range of activities in 2018 to help the industry improve its exporting capabilities, including:

  • five outbound trade missions, taking 42 grower-exporters to key export markets to increase the capability for emerging and existing grower-exporters through in-market trade activities and knowledge-sharing among growers;
  • six export workshops, which provided 44 attendees with practical and tailored knowledge about the export process;
  • eight new market access submissions for different vegetables into Asian markets.

“The industry has increased its focus on boosting the value and volume of its vegetable exports, with work being undertaken by AUSVEG, Hort Innovation and other groups in building the exporting skills of Australian growers and providing opportunities to build relationships with foreign buyers, as well as supporting the Taste Australia trade program,” Coote said.

“We are working with growers to ensure they have the skills and know-how to improve their ability to export their produce and capitalise on increasing demand for fresh, Australian-grown produce. We are also working closely with the Australian Government and international trading partners to open market access for more vegetable commodities so that our growers can increase their exports into key export markets across Asia and the Middle East.”

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