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Mango season North Queensland 2018

A steady supply of quality mangoes is expected this season; the harvest gets underway in North Queensland. Growers in the Burdekin and Bowen regions started picking this week, with Dimbulah and Mareeba growers set to join them in the coming weeks.

Last year, a glut of mangoes drove the prices down for growers due to a clash in output between northern growing regions. According to Ben Martin from Marto's Mangoes, this year the harvest would be spaced out in the regions, which will be a win-win for growers and consumers.

“There doesn’t seem to be the large volume of Kensington Prides around as last year, which should keep the prices up a bit, however consumers will be getting great quality mangoes,” Martin said. “We had a clash between the growing regions last year, which meant there was an oversupply of fruit. This year the Katherine fruit has almost been picked… it all looks like it will flow from one region onto the next so there will be a good steady supply of mangoes for the whole season.”

Martin said that the trees that were battered in the Bowen region during Cyclone Debbie last year, were starting to come back and Bowen-Burdekin growers would continue to pick for the next four to five weeks.

Mareeba grower and Australian Mango Industry Association deputy chairman John Nucifora said Dimbulah growers would start picking in two weeks, with Mareeba growers starting in early December. The season will continue until March.

Northqueenslandregister.com.au reported on Nucifora saying that more than 10 million trays of mangoes were produced Australia wide last year, with Mareeba growers producing about 2.5 million trays. He said he expected there would be a similar yield this year.


Publication date : 7/11/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Australian cherry crop sizes up well

Early forecasts point to solid national crop, with mainland growers sending directly to China via airfreight
As Australia’s early-season cherry harvest gets underway, hopes are high for a record crop.

Cherry Growers Australia president Tom Eastlake said all major production regions were cropping well, with growers on track to surpass the 16,000 tonne mark for the first time.

“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 told ABC News.

“Assuming we don't have any adverse weather events come through, I would be reasonably confident we hit that mark."

Cherry growers in New South Wales are optimistic about crop forecasts, despite the state being in the grips of drought.

Water storage in the key production hub surrounding the township of Young is down, but many don’t foresee this as a wholesale problem.

“It means we just have to manage our water supply well,” Fiona Hall, managing director of Caernarvon Cherry Co, told Asiafruit. “Good management will mean there will be no impact on the crop as we hope for more rain through early summer.”

The dry spell, coupled with a warm winter, resulted in a later blossom in New South Wales, which has seen a later start to harvest for some growers.

Further south in Victoria, growers are reporting an above average fruit set, although some areas were affected by an early frost at budbreak. This has been compensated by a better than average fruit set on other varieties.

Michael Rouget, managing director of Victorian-based grower-packer-exporter Koala Cherries, said he was expecting a “normal crop to slightly above average" on his orchards.

Cautious optimism for China

Having secured significant market access improvements in January this year, the upcoming 2018/19 campaign will see mainland cherry growers send fruit directly to China via airfreight for the first time. However, it will be with an eye on laying the foundations for what the industry hopes will develop into a lucrative market.

“It is a positive step forward. People are optimistic but cautious given this is new territory for mainland cherry producers in Australia,” Rouget said. “I think this season most growers will trial shipments through this pathway but do it cautiously.”

The new protocol with China requires all mainland cherries grown outside recognised pest free areas to undergo methyl bromide treatment prior to export.

Hugh Molloy of Antico International says an adherence to high-quality will be crucial when it comes to developing market share in China.

“There is specific and unique demand for Australian supply if we can deliver consistent high quality, firm, sweet fruit,” Molloy told Asiafruit. “If this is established over November and December, the sales draw should then flow on into the Tasmanian supply window, which this year is perfectly suited to and timed for the Chinese New Year gifting period.”

 

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

Author : Matthew Jones

Early Murcott Mandarin Variety Key to BGP’s Good Start in China

From September 5 to 8, the booth of BGP International, a Melbourne-based produce company, caught the eye of many attendees at Asia Fruit Logistica 2018 Hong Kong. Since its founding in 1992, BGP has strived to provide customers with high-quality fresh produce year-round through extensive cooperation with partners in Australia, the United States, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa, and New Zealand. Now, the company has also expanded operations to California, the Philippines, India, and Egypt. Produce Report interviewed Neil Barker, CEO of BGP, to explore how his company has done in China.

Citrus has been a key category for BGP, with the company’s annual citrus volume exceeding 40,000 metric tons. Relying on oranges, mandarins, and grapefruit from the world's leading production regions to develop the Chinese market has proven a sound strategy which pairs well with BGP's own strengths. The company’s strategy for China focuses on a special Murcott mandarin, the very early Murcott variety Royal Honey Murcott, which was discovered and patented by Ironbark Citrus, a producer of premium Australian mandarins in Queensland. This variety matures one month earlier than other Murcott mandarins and possesses a skin texture and taste profile which appeals to Chinese consumers.

As an appointed partner of Ironbark Citrus, BGP enjoys the privilege of being able to promote the variety in China before fierce market competition kicks in. "Until now, every year when the sales season kicks off for Royal Honey Murcott, demand is always two to three times greater than the volume available, so we have to restrict access to only a small number of specially-selected importers to better serve the market.” Neil continued however, noting that, "because we started with these early varieties, we are in a good position to go on with our later Murcott varieties."

For a first-hand account of this highly sought-after variety, Produce Report also spoke with Jing Huang, Assistant to CEO for Fruitday, a major Chinese fresh produce e-retailer, who confirmed the popularity of the Royal Honey Murcott in China. “This will be our fifth year marketing this variety on our platform. In addition to maturing early, Royal Honey Murcotts also boast a good appearance, excellent taste, high brix, and low acid content. As a result, it has been received well on Fruitday and is a perfect fit for the Chinese market.”

According to Neil, production of Royal Honey Murcotts is expected to double over the next 3 years and BGP will be working to continually increase market penetration for the variety in China.

Besides sourcing from Australia, BGP were also among the first companies to bring Chinese consumers mandarins, grapefruit, and lemons from Egypt. "We also expect some increases in these volumes in the years ahead. To achieve this goal, our grower partners in Egypt and South Africa are planting new farms with varieties specifically developed for the Chinese and Asian markets," Neil remarked. In addition to expanding the existing supply chain volumes, BGP is actively exploring new fruit varieties as well, such as avocadoes, nectarines, plums, and peaches, to further add value to its business in China.

BGP has been exporting premium Australian fruit to China since the early 2000s. Over the years, the company has developed into a crucial supplier to many upscale supermarkets, online retailers, and wholesalers in China. As one of the forerunners in marketing China-grown produce around the world, BGP has operated an office in China for a number of years to facilitate its exports of apples, citrus, garlic, and ginger to India, the EU, and other Asian markets. BGP was also involved in the early shipments of Ya pears (a famous type of pear native to northern China) to Australia.

Source: https://www.producereport.com 

 

 

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

Source: www.freshplaza.com

Analysis of sudden price increase for Chinese fruit

As the seasonal market is changing, fresh fruit enters the market in large volumes. A quick look at this year's prices in comparison with last year shows that fruit prices greatly increased this year. One of the reasons for this development is quite obvious, the overall production volume decreased because of extreme weather conditions this year. However, looking at broader price developments shows that this price increase started much earlier than this year. The price of domestic fruit has been on the rise for several years now, and this is likely to be the prevailing trend in the future as well.

Well then, what are the reasons for this development?

Shrinking gap in product quality and product variety between domestic fruit and imported fruit
Imported fruit is not nearly as rare as it was on the market 10 years ago. As China opened the doors wide, more and more fruit importers have entered the Chinese market. The annual import volume of fruit continues to increase. In some situations the market even turned upside down, and imported fruit became a common sight. Under these circumstances, some consumers, suppliers, and plantation owners began to change their perception of domestic fruit:

First, various production areas in China have been importing fruit varieties from abroad for many years now, and this is particularly true for south China. Plantation owners experimented and adjusted until these fruit varieties performed well in Chinese production areas, and the fruit now produced in these areas is virtually indistinguishable from imported fruit, whether it is in terms of flavor or other characteristics.

Second, China continues to upgrade and innovate plantation technology and equipment in the agricultural industry. Plantation owners often apply glasshouse and greenhouse technology, and experiment with growing environments developed in agricultural production areas abroad. This also guarantees increased product quality for fruit produced in China.

Third, steady economic growth in China means that overall living standards have increased in recent years. Consumers enjoy higher average incomes and are able to spend more on food products. Consumers in China have begun to change their consumption pattern from quantity to quality. Farmers and fruit traders only have to improve the product quality of their fruit, and consumers are eager to pay extra. The proportion of top-quality fruit is still relatively small in the current fruit market. Increased consumer demand for top-quality fruit will eventually increase market prices.


Publication date : 11/2/2018

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

New Zealand is beating Australia regarding Pacific work force

Both New Zealand and Australia want to attract tourist fruit pickers [‘backpackers’] and seasonal workers from around the Pacific. However, latterly the numbers are becoming somewhat skewered. For every 1,000 backpackers picking fruit and vegetables in New Zealand, there are about 3,000 seasonal workers from the Pacific. In Australia, the mix is different: for every 1,000 backpackers there are only about 250 Pacific seasonal workers.

The Australian outcome is what the research literature predicts: employers preferring the more flexible, much less regulated backpacker. It’s less hassle, and as recent media and academic research has shown, easier to get away with underpaying backpackers, where no government approval or reporting is required, than with seasonal workers, where stringent approval and reporting requirements are imposed.

How then to explain New Zealand’s contrary performance? There seem to be five factors which explain why New Zealand’s 2007 seasonal worker scheme (called the RSE or Recognised Seasonal Employer) has been much more popular than Australia’s 2009 Seasonal Worker Program (SWP).

First, New Zealand’s horticultural sector has a much stronger export orientation. As a result, the sector is more focused on quality and compliance, as stories of worker exploitation risk the loss of export markets. In contrast, Australian farmers are producing mainly for the domestic market, with little external scrutiny of workplace conditions and employee rights. They are focused primarily on costs rather than reputation.

Second, collective action is easier in New Zealand. New Zealand’s horticultural sector is much better organised than in Australia, and has a single peak body. It played a leading role in developing the RSE, and employs someone to promote it.

Third, the costs of regulatory compliance are also lower in New Zealand. Australia’s minimum wage is significantly higher than New Zealand’s, which creates a stronger incentive to avoid it.

Australia also has a weaker enforcement regime, making it less likely that you’ll be caught if you cheat. This is again due to the tyranny of size, but also because Australia has put less effort into developing a licensing regime for labour hire companies. This situation is now changing, which explains the growth of the SWP in recent years (as noted below).

Fourth, while Australia’s and New Zealand’s backpacker and seasonal worker schemes are very similar, there are subtle differences in their design, history and implementation, which have made a difference.

New Zealand introduced the RSE in 2007. At the time, Australia wasn’t prepared to follow suit. Instead, in response to farmers’ complaints about labour shortages, it introduced the second-year backpacker visa to funnel backpackers into agriculture in their first year with the offer of a second-year visa.

Finally, there is the simple fact that Australia simply attracts far more backpackers than New Zealand, making the potential pool of backpacker farm labour that much larger. In the 2017-18 financial year, Australia had 210,000 backpackers while New Zealand had only 70,000.

Source: asiancorrespondent.com via http://www.freshplaza.com


Publication date : 11/2/2018

A stable market for traditional persimmons

A stable market for the Tipo persimmons in this ongoing campaign. The OP Granfrutta Zani markets 2000 tons. The marketing manager Raffaele Bucella discussed these factors.

“The harvesting of the Tipo persimmon is about to end. The campaign started extremely well. Then, it slightly slowed down due to the unusual temperatures. The off-season heat during October caused many problems both in terms of ripening and marketing. Yet, now it is recovering”.

Granfrutta Zani places persimmons mostly on the Italian MMR. Furthermore, the company exports to the two countries with the highest traditional persimmon consumption, that is Switzerland and Australia. Spain is exporting its tough pulp produce to Germany for instance.

Bucella, “We also have a few hundred tons of the tough pulp variety, which is the most appreciated by younger generations because of the ease of consumption. If everything goes according to plan, the marketing of persimmons will continue until halfway through December”.

With regard to prices, Bucella: “Persimmons usually do not change prices within a short time frame. Even though Spain has less produce than usual, prices will not increase. I think that this will be a stable campaign. I believe that sales will fall under the range expected by our producers”.

Info:
OP Granfrutta Zani
Via Monte Sant'Andrea
48018 Granarolo Faentino (RA)
Tel.: (+39) 0546 695211
Fax: (+39) 0546 41775
Email: buc@granfruttazani.it
Web: www.granfruttazani.it via www.freshplaza.com


Publication date : 11/1/2018

Australia ratifies CPTPP

Joining five other nations, Australia’s commitment has triggered a 60-day countdown to tariff reductions
On 31 October, Australia became the sixth country to ratify its position in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP-11, and also known as the CPTPP).

Joining Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, and Singapore in the first group to ratify the agreement means a majority sign-on triggers a 60-day countdown to the first round of tariff cuts.

The first tariff cuts under the agreement will enter into force on 30 December 2018. A second reduction will occur three days later on 1 January 2019.

For Australia, tariff reductions to Mexico are expected to benefit the horticulture sector, and the broader agriculture industry will see improved access.

Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, Peru, and Vietnam are also part of the agreement, but are yet to ratify their positions.

ExportNZ executive director Catherine Beard is pleased by the ratification and looming tariff reductions.

"CPTPP brings Japan, Canada and Mexico into a trade deal with New Zealand for the first time. These countries have large markets that will now become progressively open to New Zealand goods and services, improving New Zealand’s trade earnings,” she said.

"Other country members of CPTPP will now also offer terms of trade more favourable to New Zealand exports.”

The New Zealand government expects items like buttercup squash into Japan to become tariff-free; onions to Japan to have tariffs removed within the next six years; and tariffs in other countries to be eliminated on a number of items like cherries, radish, carrot seed, kiwifruit, and avocado.

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

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

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