Australia’s almond industry is booming, with annual export sales now in excess of $300 million.
According to the Almond Board of Australia there has been strong growth in production, prices, consumption and exports.
Globally, Australia is now the second largest producer of almonds behind the United States.
The US remains the dominant force in the industry making up 82 percent of world production. The majority of US almonds are grown within the state of California.
Australian almond production in 2013 was 73,361 tonnes (kernel weight equivalent) with an expected tonnage for 2014 of 70,000 tonnes, according to the Almond Board of Australia.
Colliers Rural research shows the area planted to almonds has increased by 211 percent or around 19,391 hectares over the past decade.
There is now 28,586ha under crop.
Typically, almond trees take three years to bear a crop and seven to eight years to reach mature production levels.
Wide range of varieties
Colliers suggest currently there remains 1,008ha or 4 percent of almond plantings that are not yet bearing and 33 percent (9,486ha) of trees that are still maturing.
Australian almonds are predominately grown across three Australian states in four major growing regions, including:
- Adelaide and Riverland regions of South Australia
- Riverina region of NSW
- Sunraysia region of Victoria
A wide range of almond varieties is available, however within Australia the dominant varieties are Nonpareil, Carmel, Price, Peerless and Ne Plus.
Nonpareil is the main commercial variety and, as evidenced in the chart overleaf, currently accounts for over 50 percent of plantings in Australia.
Consumption growth has been led by improving incomes in major export destinations (most notably India).
Increased public awareness of the positive health benefits surrounding almond products has also helped to boost sales.
Source: Property Observer