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Australian almond industry set to crack export record

Australian almond industry set to crack export record article image

This season is shap­ing up to be its best yet for Australia’s almond industry.

Last year almonds became the first Australian horticultural product to break $300 million in export sales, at $309 million – making it the country’s most valuable horticultural export industry.

And while this year’s crop was smaller than expected — at 65,956 tonnes — next year’s crop is expected to beat last year’s record-breaking crop of 73,361 tonnes.

Australian almonds were worth $490 million last year, $590 million this year and an estimated $645 next year.  

Shelled almonds account for 68 per cent of this year’s crop, valued at $318 million, a 147 per cent rise due to higher export volume and value. India is our largest export market.  

Australia is second only to the US among world almond producers and exports to 48 countries. Almonds were fetching $5.13 a kg in January last year, but the price hit $8.46 in June this year.  

California, heart of the US almond industry, is suffering a drought that has cut production, giving Australia a chance to fill the void with prem­ium product.  

Almond Board of Australia chief executive Ross Skinner said it took almond trees seven to eight years to mature, so yields from Australia’s 2007-08 plantings would continue to increase this year.  

In the past decade Australian almond plantings have increased from 9932ha to 28,586ha last year — 68 per cent of which is in Victoria’s Sunraysia region. 

Almond Board of Australia marketing manager Joseph Ebbage said it would be a month before growers knew what the March 2015 harvest would look like.

 

Source: The Weekly Times

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