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Outlook for Australian apple exports looks rosy

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Exports of Australian apples to SE Asia and the UK are expected to increase this year, providing a boost for local growers.  

An estimated 3000 tonnes of Gala, Granny Smiths and Pink Lady apples will be exported to the South East Asian markets this year, according to Apple and Pear Australia Ltd (APAL).  

“At the moment only Tasmania can export directly into China and we hope to see trade start this year," said Claire Fitchett, Market Development Manager at APAL.  

Australia will also export to the UK in September and October when there is a gap before the domestic production starts.  

Ms Fitchett expects a good market this season due South Africa's problems with hail.  

Australia sent around 450 tonnes to the UK in 2013 but anticipates larger volumes this year.  

The Australian apple harvest began in mid January in the Riverland, Southern Australia with the Gala apples, while in Tasmania the harvest will start soon.  

Garry Langford, from APAL said the growing season has been good but some very hot weather in the middle of January caused some damage in Victoria.

"We are used to hot temperatures and it won't affect the overall volumes which will be just under 300,000 tonnes, around the same as last year."

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