Table Grapes

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 

Costa enters deal to acquire NCF farms

Costa Group (ASX: CGC) is set to consolidate its position in Australia’s two leading fruit export commodities – table grapes and citrus – through the acquisition of Nangiloc Colignan Farm’s (NCF) farming operations in the greater Sunraysia district of North West Victoria.

The company announced today (Nov. 16 AEDT) it had signed a conditional agreement in conjunction with a subsidiary of CK Life Sciences Int’l (Holdings) Inc, through which CK would acquire the farm to be leased to Costa for 20 years.

The group expects the acquisition to be completed in late 2018.

NCF is a grower of high quality citrus and grapes across 567 hectares, including 240 hectares of citrus (103ha Afourer mandarins, 105ha oranges), 204 hectares of table grapes and 123 hectares of wine grapes.

Costa CEO Harry Debney said the acquisition and its focus on the Sunraysia growing region opened up growth opportunities that were not available in the South Australian Riverland, an area where Costa produces approximately half of the citrus crop.

“This acquisition and location in the Sunraysia region will reduce reliance on any one region in our portfolio and will also open up additional growth opportunities,” Debney said.

“In particular, with respect to Afourer mandarins and navel oranges this will allow us to further take advantage of export market demand.”

Costa said NCF had “attractive plantings” of proprietary table grape varieties, and it was expected the majority of table grape sales from the farm would be for export markets.

Up to a third of the NCF citrus plantings are less than five years old., while Cossta plans to convert wine grape vineyards to citrus plantings over time.

The operation has a main operating shed, cool rooms, machinery sheds and workshops, as well as 3,800ML of water under permanent licence and more than 100ML of irrigation dam capacity.

“Over recent years Costa has embarked upon both greenfield growth and M&A activity in the citrus category. This has been fuelled by expanded favourable export markets and free trade agreements with countries including Japan, South Korea and China,” Debney said.

“In order to further capitalise on this, Costa is trialling several new mandarin, orange and lemon varieties on commercial sized blocks that have market potential with improved attributes including, seedless, high brix (sugar), red flesh and different maturity timing.”

With the current 2,429 hectares of citrus category plantings Costa has in the South Australian Riverland, the NCF acquisition will bring the Company’s total plantings in the Riverland and Sunraysia regions to 2,996 hectares.

The deal comes just days after Bennelong Australian Equity Partners announced it had increased its stake in the company over recent months to hold 12.5% voting power in Costa, on behalf of security holders Citi, NAS, BNP, RBC and RBC Lux.

 

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com 

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

 

Sharp uptick for table grape exports to Japan

Australian table grape exports to Japan rose by 30% year-on-year in the past season, making the Asian country its third-largest market, according to Weekly Times Now.

The sharp increase compares to a 3% rise in total exports during the 2018 season that ran from January through June. Returns to exports rose by the same level to AUD$384.7 million (US$272 million).

Australian Table Grape ­Association chief executive Jeff Scott said 10,882 metric tons (MT) were shipped to Japan this year, accounting for almost 10 percent of all offshore sales.

The increasing demand in Japan follows investments in promotional events in Japan and Korea before the season kicked off in early January.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work in Japan in terms of gaining market share,” Scott was quoted as saying.

“It’s a very mature market that recognises good quality and is prepared to pay for it. Korea is another market we’ve been working on and where exports have increased quite significantly.”

China remains Australia’s strongest export market for table grapes, taking 41,668MT, or 38 percent, while Indonesia is the second biggest market, ­accounting for almost 15 percent of market share with 16,149MT.

Scott said there was an annual trend of 8 per cent growth across all export markets over the past five years.

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com

Taste Australia yields big results in foreign trade

In the 12 months since Hort Innovation launched its boldest foreign trade initiative to date, the industry has reported record export sales and greater demand for Australian grown produce.

Underpinned by more than $40 million in research and development projects, and backed by world-class science and technology, the Taste Australia initiative was developed in response to industry calls for a cohesive, national export project to drive foreign interest and demand for Australian horticultural products.

The initiative was launched at Asia Fruit Logistica (AFL) last year, which is the largest specialised fruit and vegetable trade event in Asia. The project proved so successful, it is now being rolled out in 10 countries across Asia and the Middle East.

Australian growers will once again showcase their premium products under the Taste Australia banner at AFL next week with a Hort Innovation delegation of more than 220 stakeholders, representing 80 Australian businesses across 528 square metres.

The extensive trade effort over the last 12 months saw the value of fresh horticultural exports reach a record $2.18 billion for the year ending June 2018, with over 40 per cent of this value being driven by the export of citrus fruits, table grapes and cherries.

Hort Innovation General Manager for Trade, Michael Rogers, said the export results not only demonstrated the value of Taste Australia activities, but also positioned the Australian horticultural industry well within foreign markets.

“Australia has a solid reputation for delivering high-end produce that has undergone the most rigorous inspections along all stages of the supply chain, and the Taste Australia brand builds on this,” he said.

“We have been exhibiting at Asia Fruit Logistica for more than 10 years. When Taste Australia launched last year, we found it increased our engagement with key stakeholders across Asia."

“Through the Taste Australia brand, we are strengthening our homegrown produce on a global stage, bringing high quality, high-end premium goods to international markets.”

The Taste Australia campaign is funded by Hort Innovation using industry research, development and marketing levies and funds from the Australian Government.

Key Export Statistics
In the year ending June 2018, more than 264,000 tonnes of fresh citrus was exported valued at more than $440 million. Citrus exports were dominated by oranges ($280 million) and mandarins ($140 million).

Export values across combined citrus (including grapefruit, lemons, limes, mandarins, oranges) increased 48 per cent in just two years from $297 Million in 2015/16.

The single most valuable horticulture product exported was table grapes, achieving exports valued at $384 million. The value of table grape exports has grown consecutively over the last seven years.

For more information;
Farah Abdurahman
Tel: +61 447 304 255
Email: Farah.Abdurahman@horticulture.com.au
www.tasteaustralia.net.au
Publication date: 9/3/2018

 

Source: http://www.freshplaza.com

Produce in firing line as US sparks trade war

The EU, Canada and Mexico consider retaliatory measures in response to US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports
The US has announced the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico, prompting fears of a protracted and damaging trade war.

Almost immediately after president Donald Trump’s announcement, the Mexican government issued a statement announcing that it would impose equivalent measures on various US imports including apples, table grapes and cranberries.

The measures would remain in effect until the US government eliminated the import tariffs, the Ministry for the Economy said.

The latest trade data available from ITC suggests that, of the three products, the US apple export trade would stand to lose the most from a Mexican tariff hike.

Mexico is by far the largest importer of US apples, with sales worth US$276.5m last year, compared with US$174.3m in Canada and US$97.4m in India.

Mark Powers, president of the Yakima, Washington-based Northwest Horticultural Council, said the move was expected to cause substantial damage to the industry.

Mexico is the third major market to impose tariffs on Washington apples as a result of US trade policy on steel and aluminium this year.

Last week, India announced plans to put a 30 per cent retaliatory tariff on US apples – on top of the 50 per cent tariff that they are already subjected to, while in China US fruit imports have faced a 15 per cent hike in tariffs since 2 April.

Sales of US fresh apples to Mexico may have declined slightly in recent years, but last year they were 21 per cent up on the previous campaign.

Meanwhile, fresh cranberry exporters in the US have seen the value of their business in Mexico increase considerably over the past few years, albeit from a low starting point. According to ITC, Mexican import sales rose by 30 per cent to just under US$1.27m between 2013 and 2017.

As for table grapes, the value of US sales to Mexico fell by 2 per cent to US$97.2m during 2013-2017, although ITC noted a 26 per cent increase in 2017 compared with the previous campaign.

WTO case opened

The EU, meanwhile, has confirmed it is opening a case at the World Trade Organisation in response to the new US duties, with EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström expected to announce retaliatory "proportionate" tariffs on US exports including cranberries "in accordance with WTO rules".

Federica Mogherini, the EU high representative on foreign policy, told journalists: "The European Union will today proceed with the WTO dispute settlement case adding those additional duties on a number of imports from the United States. The European Union measures will be reasonable, proportionate and in full compliance with WTO rules and obligations.”

The decision by the White House was dubbed “patently absurd” by the UK’s international trade secretary, Liam Fox, who suggested the UK would be prepared for “tit-for-tat” moves. “We absolutely do not rule out counter measures,” he asserted.

When the initial threat of tariffs was raised by the US back in March, the EU pledged to retaliate with tariffs on American imports such as orange juice, cranberries and bourbon.

“Logically, these unilateral measures on steel and aluminium will lead to multiple counter reactions around the world, and for sure they will be challenged within the WTO,” said Philippe Binard, general delegate of European fresh produce association Freshfel Europe.

“The EU has already published a list of potential retaliatory measures that will be effective from 18 June, including on orange juice, cranberry juice and sweet corn. Elsewhere in the world, retaliatory measures may include increased taxes on US fresh fruit and vegetables.”

The question, according to Binard, is whether or not the US will remove its measures on steel and aluminium in order to avoid triggering such a response.

Additional reporting by Mike Knowles and Maura Maxwell

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Tom Joyce

‘Momentum building’ in Korean market for Australian table grapes, says ATGA

The Australian table grape industry is making good progress in the South Korean market, with the Taste Australia brand recently launched for the Oceanian country’s horticultural products.

Hort Innovation said that Hyundai, one of Korea’s largest luxury retail chains, is now stocking only Australian table grapes.

Hyundai representatives attended a trade seminar and networking lunch in Seoul which marketed the Australian grapes primarily sourced from Victoria.

Two major Korean table grape importers also departed for Australia to visit Victoria’s table grape growing regions to discuss sourcing exporters.

“The visiting importers toured a number of Victorian farms, viewing the high standard of food safety measures for which Australia is renowned, tasting produce and learning more about farm operations,” said Hort Innovation chief executive John Lloyd.

“Feedback from participating growers and the importers was fantastic. The exercise led to the broadening of lucrative trade opportunities and valuable relationships with key importers that we expect will last for many years to come”.

The success of the activities was put down to the collaborative efforts of the Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA), Austrade and Trade Victoria.

ATGA chief executive Jeff Scott said the feedback from the trade seminars was also extremely positive and Australian exporters welcomed the chance to meet with several leading fruit traders.

“Importers and exporters were eager to hear how the Australian season was shaping up. They wanted to know what they could expect to see in market as well as in in-store promotional activities,” he said.

This year is the fifth since the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement came into force and the tariff on Australian grapes was eliminated.

In 2016-17, South Korea mainly imported grapes from Chile, Peru and the U.S., with Australia being the only other exporter with just a 0.32% market share.

“South Korea is an exciting, emerging market with momentum building to increase trade,” Scott said.

www.freshfruitportal.com

Philippines launch of ‘Taste Australia’

‘Taste Australia’ is an innovative campaign to promote fresh Australian produce in the Philippines. It was launched this week at the Australian Embassy.

Filipinos are increasingly aware of Australian fruit and vegetables and demand for these product is on the rise. Australian fruit exports to the Philippines grew from A$ 500,000 (€315,000) in 2010 to A$ 20 million (€12.6 mln) in 2017.

The first Australian products to be promoted under the Taste Australia campaign are fresh Australian grapes which are in season from March until May. These will be available in leading retail stores such as Rustan’s Supermarkets, Shopwise, Robinsons, S&R and SM.

The Taste Australia event saw trend watcher Michelle Aventajado take charge of a cook-up between Bondi and Bourke’s Australian owner Chef Wade Watson and the Australian Ambassador’s official chef Edwin Ferrer.

Malaya.com.ph reports how the Taste Australia campaign is a unique collaboration between Hort Innovation, the Victorian Government and Austrade and is designed to help increase the profile, sales and consumption of premium fruit and vegetables in the Philippines.

Publication date: 4/13/2018
Source: www.freshplaza.com  

Australian import industry squeezed

Government changes to pre-clearance inspections are having harsh effects on Australian importers.

The Overseas Pre-clearance Inspection (OPI) scheme, offered through Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) since 2001, is about to disappear.

The government department made a decision to eliminate the program in 2016 meaning importers will have to inspect and clear fruit for arrival onshore in Australia.

Previously, Australia appointed inspectors who travel to selected ports overseas to pre-clear produce as it meets phytosanitary approvals. Now, the number of inspectors is being reduced and moved back home.

A spokesperson from the DAWR told Asiafruit that the program is being phased out because on-arrival inspection provides greater opportunities for the DAWR to drive compliance and better allocate resources according to biosecurity risk.

Industry representatives are not convinced.

A member of the Australian Horticultural Exporters and Importers Association (AHEIA) told Asiafruit that wait times for onshore clearance are sitting at around 7 or 8 days, adding an extra week to their pre-order schedule.

“The retailers don’t want to hear ‘I’m sorry but we can’t get an inspection for your program,’” they said.

Industry sources told Asiafruit that Australia’s import sector is not only concerned about their business and relationships, but the flow-on effect for export deals.

“We know that in the past several of our neighbours have used non-phytosanitary issues to restrict fruit imports,” said Neil Barker, CEO at BGP International. “When they see how effective the DAWR protectionist policy has been I have no doubt they will consider adopting the policy. If an Australian grape shipment to Jakarta airport regularly spent seven days in the cargo terminal waiting for an inspection my guess is that the trade would stop.”

Dominic Jenkin, CEO of the AHEIA explained that when inspectors are placed overseas they’re able to approve produce more efficiently as multiple orders might be stationed in a single location at a major port; last year the programme operated across 75,000 tonnes of fresh fruit imports from New Zealand and the US.

The program was offered to a handful of countries, which has dwindled over the years. Currently availability is only for the USA and New Zealand on selected fruit and veg.

The DAWR said that the removal of OPI does not impact on the number of inspectors available to the department.

However, in Australia, inspectors are having to travel much longer distances between warehouses to inspect and approve. Because of the delays, importers are also having to absorb the cost and losses from shortened shelf life and storage fees to hold sealed containers while they wait for a scheduled inspector.

To curb the problem, the DAWR decided to implement a Compliance-Based Inspection (CBI) scheme last year, which was piloted during the New Zealand avocado season.

The CBI scheme means that if a product reaches a certain number of approved inspections (for avocados it’s five in a row), they will then move to a reduced inspection rate (again for avocados, inspections will reduce to one in four shipments).

“The new scheme was intended to reward importers who could achieve a good compliance history with decreased inspection rates and faster entry. To date, no importers have achieved these reduced inspection rates,” New Zealand Avocados told Asiafruit in a statement.

“An overriding reason is the difficulty of accurately identifying often globally distributed organisms (and their eggs), down to a taxonomic level to confirm they are not of quarantine concern,” they said.

The same issue appeared in 2016 when lemons and limes from the US were subject to the trial and saw backlogs of up to ten days.

While experiencing setbacks in gaining approval, a lot of the annoyance over changes stems from the where funding of the inspection program comes from.

“The frustrating thing is that it’s industry funded. So, most of the time the limitation is cost for government processes, but this is definitely not a case of that. The industry has never said ‘we’re not willing to pay for this,’” said the anonymous AHEIA member.

The DAWR sad it’s working closely with industry and trading partners to optimise compliance and minimise any disruption, while facilitating safe trade.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Camellia Aebischer

Australian grapes showcased in North Asia

Promotional visits to South Korea and Japan create new avenues for trade

A recent outbound trade missions to two key North Asian markets has paid dividends for Australia’s table grape industry.

Lead by the Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA), in collaboration with Hort Innovation, Austrade Japan and Trade Victoria, the delegation delivered a successful and comprehensive promotional programme in Japan and South Korea.

The trade mission began with seminars in Osaka and Tokyo to provide Japanese importers, retailers and food service representatives with important pre-season information.

A similar programme was then held in Seoul. Following the trade seminar, two major South Korean table grape importers travelled to Australia. The importers visited key table grape growing regions in the state of Victoria, as they looked to source new-season fruit.

“We know the fruit quality is very high this year and that new varieties are in demand,” said ATGA chief executive Jeff Scott. “They must have liked what they saw because the number of containers exported to South Korea has now surpassed last year’s total number.”

The delegation included a number of Australian exporters, who welcomed the chance to meet and network with several leading fruit traders.

“Importers and retailers were eager to hear how the Australian season was shaping up They wanted to know what they could expect to see in market and as well in in-store promotional activities,” Scott explained.

“With exports valued over A$29m (US$22m) in 2017, Japan is becoming an important export destination for Australian table grapes. South Korea is an emerging market with momentum building to increase trade.”

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit Author: Matthew Jones

 

Strong export growth for Australian produce

Australian horticulture export value has increased due to strengthening demand in China which is forecast to continue

Australian produce may not be able to compete on price in overseas export markets, but it can compete on quality, reliability, and safety, according to ABARES’ senior economist Caroline Gunning-Trant.

“Exports of fresh horticultural produce were worth more than $2bn in 2016 to 17, with strong growth in fruit and nut exports over the past five years,” she said.

Meeting the expectations of consumers was a key takeaway point for delegates at the ABARES Outlook 2018 conference today in Canberra.

Gunning-Trant said that a demand from Asia for Australian produce, coupled with favourable exchange rates and improved access, have supported Australia’s recent export growth.

Over the six years to 2016-17, Australia’s fruit and nut exports to its top five destinations more than doubled, and the value of vegetable exports increased 50 per cent.

Moving forward

The ABARES Outlook 2018 Agricultural commodities report has forecast overall Australian agricultural exports to increase by A$3bn over the next five years, continuing the upward trend. However, due to record production in 2016-17, the gross value of overall farm production is forecast to decline in 2017-18 by five per cent.

Internationally, Australian horticultural goods are a high value sector, and Elliot Jones, general manager – grape and citrus at Costa Group understands the importance of customer expectations to create sustainable markets and solidify Australia’s premium stance.

“China is a fast-growing market where consumers are increasingly brand and quality conscious. … Our brand and quality consistency will be key to sustaining those markets,” he said.

In terms of competing with China’s own supply, the report also mentioned that the Chinese fruit industry is “not expected to produce sufficient quality fruit to displace imports from Australia over the medium term.”

Jones also stresses the importance of maintaining and improving market access protocols as critical to the industry’s success.

Domestically, the ABARES Outlook 2018 report also anticipates “moderate growth” for fruit, with Australian production and demand expected to increase, but per person fruit consumption to not growing significantly.

Throughout the next five years domestic fruit prices are expected to fall due to increased competition.

For vegetables, overall production in 2016-17 saw a two per cent drop in value, which is expected to increase by A$2m to A$3.8bn in 2017-18, far less than the two per cent decrease from 16-17.

Growth in tree nut production has been significant, and is expected to correct itself as the continuously increasing global supply outpaces demand for growth.

High costs of irrigation for Australian growers is also expected to raise overall production costs meaning the industry will need to invest in supply-chain efficiencies and value-adding opportunities.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit 

Rail link a boost for Sunraysia growers

Mildura line reopens after seven-month closure, with table grapes loaded on the first service
Growers in Australia’s Sunraysia production hub have received a major boost with the reopening of the Mildura rail line.

A freight train bound for Melbourne left Merbein yesterday (27 February), marking the return of services to the line after a seven-month closure for upgrade works.

The Wakefield Transport Group container train, carrying table grapes and wine, travelled to the Port of Melbourne via the recently reopened Maryborough to Ararat line, which has also been upgraded through the A$440m Murray Basin Rail Project.

Stage two of the improvement works has allowed axle loading to increase from 19 tonnes to 21 tonnes, meaning more volume can be carried on each service.

“The Mildura line is one of our busiest rail freight links, playing a key role in transporting the Murray Basin region’s grain, mineral sands, fruit, vegetables and wine to our ports and to the world,” said Victorian minister for regional development, Jaala Pulford.

The next stage of the Murray Basin Rail Project will upgrade the Sea Lake and Manangatang lines. The project is due for completion by late 2018.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Matthew Jones