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Apple growing in Australia is dying because prices haven’t grown for 20 years

According to The Australian Grower, apple growing in the country is gradually dying out. Australian farmers complain that the business is becoming unprofitable as apple prices have remained stable for nearly 20 years while production costs have risen at an incredibly high rate. Farmers accuse local supermarket chains of increasing the retail price of apples by no more than 50 Australian cents in 20 years, while the wholesale price has remained virtually unchanged.

What about exports? Indeed, with an effective approach to production, exports can provide good income to gardeners.

According to EastFruit, over the past 20 years, Australia has reduced fresh apple exports 10-fold. Today, the country is not among the major exporters of these fruits, selling no more than 3 thousand tons of fresh apples to foreign markets per year. Moreover, Australian apples mainly get exported to the Papua New Guinea market. About 20 years ago, Australia was a relatively large supplier of apples to the markets of India, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and Hong Kong. Currently, only about 1% of the apples grown in the country are exported.

It is interesting to note that another large country in the region, New Zealand, managed to maintain its position in the global apple market and even strengthened it. Currently, thanks to skillful approaches to marketing, innovations in apple growing technologies and selection of new varieties, New Zealand is known globally as an exporter of premium quality apples. Each year New Zealand exports about 400 thousand tons of fresh apples to foreign markets earning around US $600 million.

Read also: Apple prices in Ukraine surged – what’s the longer term price forecast?

Many farmers in Australia are being forced to uproot their apple orchards while planting new orchards is kept to a minimum, according to local horticulture industry experts. As a result, the country continues to experience a downward trend in both area and volumes of apple harvest, which could lead to Australia becoming a net importer of fresh apples.

Currently, the growing trend in apple imports to Australia is becoming more and more clear. If 10-20 years ago apple imports were close to zero, now they range from one to one and a half thousand tons per year. Almost 100% of apples imported into Australia come from China. Previously, Australia imported significant volumes of apples from New Zealand, but since 2019 these supplies have ceased.

EastFruit

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