USA

Australian table grapes - forecast almost 18% above last year’s estimate

USDA GAIN report


Australia’s production of table grapes in 2018/19 is expected to be higher due to more favourable seasonal conditions, higher yields and a larger harvest area. This forecast is almost 18 percent above last year’s estimate, which was revised down due to poor weather, reduced yields, and a late season. Australian table grape producers are increasingly focusing on the growing export market as a result of strong international demand, especially from China.

Exports comprise almost 70 percent of production in recent years and are likely to grow further with the impending removal of Chinese tariffs on table grapes under the China-Australia FTA. Table grape imports, mainly from the United States, are likely to remain the same as 2018/19, primarily due to the strengthening U.S. dollar.

Production
Table grape production is forecast at 200,000 MT in 2018/19, up almost 18 percent on the previous year due to favorable seasonal conditions and higher yields. The harvested area is forecast to expand to 12,000 hectares in 2018/19, up 9 percent in anticipation of higher yields and an expanded harvest area.

Production in the previous year featured poor yields in a number of areas due to hotter temperatures. Most grape producers in Australia are small and medium-sized family businesses, with a few large growers. Sunraysia is Australia’s largest table grape growing region, producing an estimated 80 percent of total production. Early season regions include the Northern Territory and Queensland with 70 percent of late season production from the Sunraysia region of Victoria, based at Mildura and Robinvale.

Australian exports of table grapes, 2012-2017 (in 1,000 tons)

Click here for the full report.


Publication date : 11/23/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Michael Every of Rabobank: 'New Zealand could be forced to pick a side between US and China'

The US-China trade conflict is developing into a ‘cold’ war for global economic supremacy and could result in New Zealand being forced to pick a side between the two global superpowers, according to Rabobank’s Head of Financial Markets research for Asia-Pacific Michael Every.

And with this threat on the horizon, Mr Every says New Zealand’s agricultural sector should aim to reduce its reliance on individual trade partners and place an increased focus on diversification of its export markets.

Visiting New Zealand last week to speak at a number of Rabobank events in both North and South islands, Mr Every said he expected US-China relations to deteriorate further.

“The clash between the US and China is not going away, it’s not an aberration, it’s going to get worse,” he said.

“China and the US both want to be number one, they both want to be sitting in the driving seat for who gets to set the rules for the global economy and who everyone looks to as the global leader and there’s only room for one in that chair.”

Mr Every said increasing tensions could produce a scenario where New Zealand is forced to choose sides.

“China is aggressively pursuing trade expansion and there may come a time when a gun is put to New Zealand’s forehead and you’ll be asked are you with us, or are you with the US,” he said.

“If you answer the US, the Chinese could slam the door shut.”

Mr Every said China’s growing global influence and use of policies inconsistent with free trade had provoked the US to retaliate with tariffs on Chinese imports and other as anti-China trade policy.

“Last month the US concluded a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, which requires them to notify the US before entering into any agreements with non-market economies such as China. This was economic warfare dressed up as trade and the type of move the US may try to employ in the Asia-Pacific region.” he said.

In March this year, 11 nations, including New Zealand, signed up to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The TPP was originally intended to include the US, but it withdrew from negotiations in 2017. In January, however, US President Donald Trump signalled he could push harder for “substantially better" Pacific trade deal for the US.

“At some point the US is going to come crashing back into the Asia-Pacific region because it’s so geopolitically important,” Mr Every said. “And the message may well be that the price of protecting New Zealand is a new trade deal on their terms and which forbids, or greatly restricts, dealing with China.”

An ultimatum from either of the US or China would place New Zealand in a perilous position given its significant trade ties with both countries.

New Zealand’s agricultural exports to China have grown rapidly in recent years and China is now New Zealand’s most important trading partner. New Zealand also has a significant trade relationship with the US as well as historically strong diplomatic and cultural ties.

Mr Every said New Zealand farmers and exporters should look to diversify offshore markets, before any concessions are demanded by the US or China.

“New Zealand’s agricultural sector should be looking to further develop links into new growth markets like Japan, Indonesia and India,” he said. “While this may take a lot more effort in the short-term, it will leave agricultural exporters in a better position should the US or China start making demands down the track."

“New Zealand needs to look at it as an opportunity, rather than a threat, and ask ‘what brand can we build for agriculture that allows us to thrive’, because trade protectionism won’t go away.”

Mr Every said with increased market volatility likely, New Zealand farmers should also be taking a close look at their balance sheets.

“Farmers would be wise to shore up their balance sheets so they are robust enough to cope with a scenario where one of New Zealand’s major trading partners withdraws from the market,” he said.

For more information:
Rabobank.com 


Publication date : 11/13/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

PMA Research: Impact of Chinese Tariffs applied to US Fresh Fruit Exports

Overview of Chinese Tariffs


The People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) on March 23, 2018 announced a proposal to levy retaliatory tariffs impacting approximately $2.0 billion in U.S. food and agricultural exports to China in response to the recent U.S. 232 Trade Action on steel and aluminum.

Additional tariffs of 15 percent would be applied to exports of fruits, dried fruits and nuts (among other products) from the U.S. in retaliation for tariffs introduced by the United States. Chinese customs began levying these additional tariffs April 2, 2018.

 

Read the rest of the article here

Australia's citrus industry set for another record year but nurseries run short of tree stock

Citrus growers across Australia have good reason to celebrate, with prices and global demand predicted to hit new records.

Chairman for Citrus Australia Ben Cant said the industry was booming, with growers getting twice or three times as much for their fruit than they were five years ago, and exports were steadily increasing.

"We've seen returns in the vicinity of $700–900 a tonne on navel oranges this season," Mr Cant said.

"In 2012/2013 we were looking at $200–300 a tonne, which is about our cost of production … so now we see fantastic returns for growers."

Sunlands citrus grower Mark Doecke said it had been an exceptional season for growers as weather conditions, fruit quality, and crop quantity had been great.

"Citrus has to be picked when it is dry and above 12 to 13 degrees, so this year with harvest we had no drizzle and no rain," he said.

"I feel for my brothers in the dryland farming but, as far as citrus picking goes, it's been excellent for us."

Sunlands citrus grower Mark Doecke says they've had great season with good fruit quality, weather conditions, and fruit quantity. 

And as demand is outstripping supply, Australian exports are predicted to have increased by 10 per cent this year.

Mr Cant said last year's official figures for citrus exports were around $480 million and they were confident to be a bit over $500 million in exports this year.

"And we could see $550–600 million in export next year," Mr Cant said.

"We've seen positive improvements in all markets, Japan has been about the same but China and the USA are up and pretty much everything across the board.

"Certainly, the demand for navel oranges continues to rise across key export markets like China and Japan."

Chairman for Citrus Australia Ben Cant says citrus exports are predicted to have increased by 10 per cent this season. 


Growers benefit with first harvest under new import rules to China. After years of negotiations the Chinese Government recognised the Riverland region as a pest-free area for all horticulture commodities late last year, and the benefits were being felt by citrus growers this harvest.

The fruit-fly free recognition for exports to China means growers do not have to cold-treat their produce, which results in faster and direct shipment and cost savings for growers.

The Riverland's fruit-fly-free recognition for exports to China gives growers a competitive advantage. 

Chair of Citrus Australia SA Region Steve Burdette said it was their biggest competitive advantage where additional cost for cold treatment would not have to be paid anymore.

"The fruit is a lot fresher when you ship it and eating quality is a lot more superior," Mr Burdette said.

"It created a lot more demand for our fruit into China."

Mr Cant said reasons for the high demand from China was their rising middle class prepared to pay for quality and the recognition of Australia's citrus as a premium product.

Citrus Australia market access manager David Daniels said there was a 50–60 per cent increase of exports to China from South Australia compared to last season, but this number was based on a low tonnage figure.

"China is the number-one market across the country, but that trade is primarily captured by the Victorian exporters. For South Australia, Japan is still a very strong market," Mr Daniels said.

"Returns to growers are better than ever."

Ben Cant says demand for navel oranges is certainly increasing. (ABC Rural: Jessica Schremmer)
"I would have to say everywhere we go, growers are very happy, with some saying prices are better than they have ever experienced in their lifetime."

Mr Daniels said the global demand for citrus was high due to an undersupply from competitor nations, where growers struggled with pest and disease hitting their produce.

Citrus plantings boom but many nurseries are sold out of trees. As global demand for citrus is expected to be strong, thousands of new citrus tree plantings are going into the ground across the country. But many nurseries are sold out of stock and do not have trees available until early 2020.

Mr Cant said there was a two to three-year wait for nursery stocks.

"We are on a massive growth trajectory, people are putting in trees of the preferred varieties as fast as they can right now," he said.

Chislett Farms nursery manager Jonathan Chislett from the Mallee region in Victoria said demand for trees was very high.

"We're sold out for this year and next but have capacity for 2020," Mr Chislett said.

"I don't have the exact numbers but it might be a couple of hundred thousand trees."

Mr Chislett said it was the highest demand he had ever seen and, as demand increased, nurseries were increasing their capacity to accommodate for it.

Engelhardt Citrus nursery owner John Engelhardt, located in the Orara Valley in New South Wales said he sold out of stock in July this year and would not be able to supply growers until January 2020.

"There is a lot of demand for citrus trees as the growers are getting reasonable prices for the fruit and also the export markets seem to be lucrative," Mr Engelhardt said.

"We are increasing production but at a reasonable pace."

Mr Cant said they were concerned about the volumes of trees coming on board but would work hard on opening more export markets.


ABC Rural
By Jessica Schremmer and Nadia Isa

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2018-10-19/another-record-year-for-citrus-industry/10388240 

Record volumes of California grapes

The industry has set a new five-week record for shipments worldwide despite trade tensions
rom 8 September to 12 October the California table grape industry exported over 23m cartons, marking the most boxes shipped in this window on record.

“This year, unfortunately, there was a period of nearly three months when shipments to USDA were under-reported compared to prior years,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape commission.

“This caused confusion as it appeared that with excellent quality and a large crop, the volume wasn’t moving. Once the reports were updated, two things became clear: volume was moving all along, and the last five weeks set a volume record.”

Due to the voluntary nature of USDA daily reporting, data collected is typically lower than the actual reported volume.

“It is pretty easy to add 22 percent to the last five weeks of USDA data and see why the expectation is that the shipments will have blown away industry actuals,” Nave said.

Grapes shipping into traditional export markets were down only eight per cent in total despite some trade tension, while Nave reported volumes increased to other markets including Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, and the Netherlands.

From September through to January, the industry typically ships around 60-65 per cent of its volume, according to Naver. Because of this, aggressive autumn promotions will be planned, and additional funding allocated to late-season product.

Major California grower, Sunworld, also reported a record crop for the season.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit Author:  Camellia Aebischer

 

U.S. - Larger California citrus crop expected but smaller Navel sizing

The 2018-19 California citrus crop looks like it will be larger than last year, but there will likely be some issues with sizing, according to an industry body.

California Citrus Commission president Joel Nelsen told Fresh Fruit Portal that it seems Navel oranges would be most heavily affected by a higher proportion of smaller sizes in the wake of the heat wave this summer.

But overall he said the season was shaping up well, with good fruit flavor and exterior quality expected across the board.

The first harvests will likely start this week, and initial volumes to be available in the market for Halloween in late October.

“The big issue for us this year is there seems to be more smaller-sized fruit,” he said.

“So that fruit 88s and smaller are going to be more difficult to market – we’re going to have plenty of 56s, 72s … but everything is shaping up well. The external quality looks good, and all the summer heat should bring us good flavored fruit, so there’s room for optimism.”

He said the smaller sizing could be across all citrus types this season, but as yet it was unclear.

“I know up in the San Joaquin Valley we’ve got an excellent crop of lemons, I know the mandarin fruit looks pretty good right now from a size perspective … So I think it’s mainly been the Navel oranges that’s been affected.”

He also pointed out that there has been plenty of surface water growers could access this year.

Timing-wise the season is running a little bit later than last year, with a lack of cold nights slowing color development.

“You can’t be picking green fruit when it comes to citrus. We haven’t had that many cold nights, so it’s all up to Mother Nature now,” he said.

The mandarin harvests should start around the same time as the Navel harvests, beginning with Satsumas, then moving onto Clementines and Murcotts.

While the U.S. Navel market is reported to be relatively healthy at the moment, a recent market report by Capespan North America noted the easy peeler market was much slower, with an abundance of Chilean mandarins available.

“We’ve seen an explosion of offshore imports into our domestic market and the pricing is chaotic. One could almost argue there has been some dumping in terms of price,” Nelsen said.

“There is an oversupply situation, and it’s difficult for the domestic producer to push back on that because our costs are generally more expensive than what the offshore producer has in terms of cost.

“But we think that with our consistent quality, meaning both flavor and exterior quality our fruit will knock that stuff off the store shelves.”

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

Trump's trade tariffs push Egyptian oranges to Shanghai fruit shops

The trade war between the United States and China is presenting opportunities for fruit distributor Sunmoon Food Co., as the company is now shipping navel oranges from Egypt, kiwis from Italy and apples from Poland into China for the first time ever. The produce is to fill the gap created when the Asian nation retaliated by slapping tariffs on U.S. fruit.

Sunmoon is not by any means a big company if one compares them to Fresh Del Monte Produce, for instance. Where the latter had a revenue of $4.1 billion last year, Sunmoon only had a turnover of $45 million. But the new business it’s doing in China underscores how the tariff tit-for-tat between the world’s two biggest economies is reshaping global trade flows. China imported $6.2 billion worth of fresh and dried fruit and nuts last year, up nearly ten-fold from 2015, according to customs data.

“As with any trade war or political upheaval, there will always be a certain re-balancing along the markets,” Gary Loh, Sunmoon’s chief executive officer, said in an interview. “Companies like ours can take advantage of this and introduce new products into new markets.”

Sunmoon counts China as its largest sales market, where it can reach 900 million mouths through its partnership with Shanghai Yiguo E-commerce Co., an Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. affiliate that owns more than half of the company.

When China raised tariffs on U.S. goods, Sunmoon responded by shipping navel oranges from a packaging house in the suburbs of Cairo to its warehouses in Shanghai. Other countries' oranges are being tested, like the ones from Israel, Morocco and Spain. These oranges are put out in the Chinese market with the chance of increasing shipments next year if the tariffs have not been removed.

Source: Bloomberg via: www.freshplaza.com


Publication date : 9/17/2018

 

Bumper California navel deal predicted

Fruit set is up 22 per cent on the five-year average meaning high volumes expected despite no increase in total hectares planted
Starting from a lower plantation base this season the California navel deal is looking to be the most fruitful in volume since the 2005-2006 season. The news comes with significance as total land volume this season is down 8,700 planted hectares from ten years prior.

Survey data from the California navel Orange Objective Measurement Report indicated a fruit set per tree of 426, above the five-year average of 333 (up 22 per cent).

The survey predicts the initial 2018-2019 navel orange forecast is 80m cartons, up 11 percent from the previous year. Of the total navel orange forecast, 77m cartons are estimated to be in the Central Valley.

Bearing orchards are at the same number of hectares as the year prior, but with the higher fruit set (up 426 per tree from 273 last season) the hope is that forecast volumes will be bumper.

However, total tonnage might not be as high due to fruit diameter at a lower September 1 average. The five-year average as of September 1 was at 6.8cm, now down to 5.3cm.

 

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com Author: Camellia Aebischer