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China's currency value has dropped dramatically

China’s currency has been losing points, hitting its lowest level against the US dollar in a decade. The reason behind this slide isn’t because of manipulation by the People’s Bank of China. The reason the yuan is being dumped now is that investors are concerned about a trade war between America and China.

The trade war will probably ensure, as all trade wars do, that both sides will lose. Alas, the wider global economy will too, as orders are lost and consumers and businesses globally pay higher prices for goods and raw materials, or suffer from “dumping” of exports previously destined for America and which now need to be sold off in a hurry.

If president Trump’s response is to intensify his trade war with the China, he will set up a vicious downward cycle, and where that will end should worry people. And China has quite some weaponry in this scrap: it holds some $1.2 trillion worth of US government bonds. This is where they have stashed all those trade surpluses with the Americans built up over a quarter of a century, according to an article on independent.co.uk.

Imagine if China decided to dispose of them on the bond market. Huge disruption – and a worldwide economic shock. Or even to run them down in an orderly fashion. The result would be higher interest rates hitting the American economy, whether Trump likes it or not. It would choke off US growth, and maybe even push it into recession. The dollar would be devalued as never before – which would help the US trade position and exports, but would also prompt a surge in American inflation and a squeeze on living standards.


Publication date : 10/31/2018

Australian lemon growers should export

Australia is seeing an increase in lemon plantings, as well as increase from new growers entering the industry, says Citrus Australia. With this increased growth, there is a push for lemon growers to export produce.

According to Queensland grower Michael McMahon from Abbotsleigh Citrus -part of the Nutrano Produce group- only 4% of Australian lemons are exported, and with 9% going into processing, 87% are sold onto the domestic market.

Nielsen Homescan Data shows that 50.6% of domestic shoppers buy lemons, last year, consuming 2kg of these a year. Sales spike during Easter in line with fish sales, and they spike again during Greek Easter, said McMahon.

Abbotsleigh Citrus has made a concerted effort to export more lemons in recent years and develop new markets to avoid the rising tide of Australian-grown lemons and to gain an advantage on exports from South Africa and South America.

The prices Abbotsleigh received in Indonesia for lemons recently was lower than the domestic market. “We still made a profit but we’re thinking long-term and investing in development of export markets,” McMahon told foodmag.com.au. He sees opportunities in China, Indonesia, Japan, Canada and the USA.

Hong Kong and Singapore are easy markets for most countries to access, while Indonesia can be unreliable due to quotas, according to Citrus Australia.


Publication date : 10/29/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

LaManna Premier Group teams up with Cutri Fruit

Leading Australian fresh produce companies combine their expertise to form export operation

LaManna Premier Group and Cutri Fruit have launched a new joint venture for exports.

Trading under the name LPG Cutri Fruit Global Exports, the new entity will use the expertise of both businesses to supply buyers with premium Australian produce year-round

The joint venture will exclusively handle Cutri Fruit’s international stonefruit shipments, along with the full array of export products that LPG has been marketing for many years.

“LPG is so excited to be part of this new exporting joint venture,” said LPG international sales manager, Frank Frappa, who is the key point of contact for the new venture.

“I’ve had a strong working relationship with the Cutri team for over 15 years and see this as a natural fit. Both businesses love to invest in research and development, funding new frontiers in horticulture to constantly improve growth for our categories and customers.”

LPG is one of Australia’s leading fresh produce supply chain companies, with its farm production capacity spanning all Australian states. Its operations include open field growing as well as protected cropping.

Cutri Fruit is Australia’s largest grower-packer of fresh stonefruit and has recently expanded its operations into the production of avocados. It has been exporting for over 30 years and has until recently had its own in-house exporting business, Certified Fresh.

“The Australian stonefruit industry is currently going through its most exciting time of growth and exporting potential,” said Gaethan Cutri, CEO of Cutri Fruit. “To embark upon such an epic joint venture with LPG seems like the perfect opportunity to allow our exports to continue their upward trajectory into the future.”

Cutri Fruit’s stonefruit harvest is set to get underway within coming weeks, with growing conditions to date described as “superb.”

LPG Cutri Fruit Global Exports already has fresh fruit available to buyers, with mangoes from farms in the Northern Territory ready for export.

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

CSIRO Innovation: Fund More funding to tackle fruit flies in Australia

A start-up created by three alumni from CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) received a AU$1.25 million funding boost from the CSIRO Innovation Fund.

The start-up is called RapidAim and will use the cash to conduct a trial of its "smart trap" fruit fly monitoring system that is hoped will replace manual trap checking. Australian Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud said the trial would be conducted across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania.

"The smart traps use lures to attract fruit flies. Females are lured in by food and males by chemicals they think will make them more attractive to female flies," Littleproud said. "Sensors will be able to detect when a fruit fly is in the trap by their characteristic movements and send an alert to a grower's mobile phone."

The trial of RapidAIM, which is a real-time monitoring system using technology to detect the presence and location of fruit flies, will potentially cut down the need for time-consuming manual monitoring. RapidAim CEO dr Schellhorn said the automated traps will not only save time, but could help reduce the use of pesticides through more targeted spraying.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said RapidAIM features new technology developed by CSIRO researchers and is backed by the Coalition Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA).

“Fruit flies cost Australia’s horticulture sector around $300 million a year and can have a major impact on our fruit and vegetable growers,” Minister Andrews said.

Source: zdnet.com via www.freshplaza.com 


Publication date : 10/18/2018

NZ - Country of Origin labelling a step closer to law

Horticulture New Zealand is thrilled that mandatory Country of Origin labelling for fruit and vegetables got a step closer today, with the second reading of the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill passing in Parliament.

"Our research showed that more than 70 percent of New Zealanders want mandatory Country of Origin Labelling (CoOL) for fruit and vegetables, so it is great to see the Government continuing to listen to consumers by progressing this Bill," Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says.

"This Bill has been a long time in the making and it underwent significant changes by the Primary Production Select Committee between its first reading and now. Ultimately, the outcome is what our growers want. That is, consumers can choose what to buy with full knowledge of where their fresh fruit and vegetables come from," Chapman says.

"Consumers want to be able to make choices based on their own beliefs and values. They may want to support local businesses, buy what is in season and grown locally, help keep and create jobs in their own area, or for that matter, buy products from other countries known for being the best at growing particular produce.

"We look forward to this passing into law, hopefully this year."

You can read the bill here.

For more information;
Josie Vidal
Horticulture New Zealand
Tel: +64 4470 5665
Mobile: +64 27 542 7475
www.hortnz.co.nz


Publication date : 10/18/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com

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

Vietnam: Vinh Phuc province exports first red flesh dragon fruits to Australia

Last week, the first batch of red flesh dragon fruits from Vietnam’s Vinh Phuc province was exported Australia. According to the Vietnam Trade Office in Australia, this is the first time Vietnamese red flesh dragon fruits have been exported to the Aussie market.

Australia is a choosy but promising market for Vietnamese farm produce. Exporters are advised to follow Australia’s quarantine regulations on cultivation areas, packaging, irradiation and pesticide residues right in Vietnam.

According to en.vietnamplus.vn, the export to Australia is expected to open up a chance for Vietnam to ship the fruit to the US and Europe. It took Vietnam nine years to negotiate and complete all the necessary procedures to export dragon fruit to Australia. Previously, Vinh Phuc’s red fresh dragon fruits had already been shipped to Japan and Malaysia.


Publication date : 9/25/2018

Source: http://www.freshplaza.com

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