Export demand soaring - Cherry growers expect largest Australian crop ever
Cherry producers across Australia are looking at a bumper season, and early crop forecasts suggest this year's crop will reach new highs, making it Australia's largest cherry crop in history. Consumers might see a higher supply than usual this year, but growers are setting their sights on increasing their export numbers considerably.
Cherry Growers Australia president Tom Eastlake said all production areas were recording a good crop, ranging from a light to heavy crop. The national record for the Australian cherry crop is about 15,000 tonnes.
"The forecast at the moment depends on how bullish you want to be … we would have to be starting this year at a baseline of 20 per cent higher than 15,000 tonnes, so it will be about 18,000 tonnes," Eastlake said. "Assuming we don't have any adverse weather events come through, I would be reasonably confident we hit that mark."
Riverland cherry grower Leon Cotsaris started harvesting early variety cherries at his orchard two weeks ago, and said growing conditions this year were great. "We had a fairly mild spring, which has been pretty good, although it's been very dry.”
He said fruit size and quality this year were good, but dependent on weather conditions in coming weeks.
Cherry Growers Association of South Australia president and Adelaide Hills grower Nick Noske said they had been expecting high yields last year, but many growers' crops were severely damaged by hail and rain.
Abc.net.au reports that despite a bumper crop, consumers might not see extreme price drops this season as growers look to export markets. Due to the reopening of the Vietnamese market and new market access to China last year, demand for Australian cherries is high.
Publication date : 11/6/2018