Australia’s almond exporters are preparing to move what looks to be a record crop, with harvest getting underway across the nation’s major production hubs this week.
Ross Skinner, chief executive of the Almond Board of Australia, said national production was tipped to exceed 75,000 tonnes this season, with harvests across the Sunraysia, Riverland and Riverina growing regions continuing until April.
With the Australian dollar weakening and an ongoing drought in California limiting sales programmes out of the US, the world’s largest almond exporter, Skinner said the season is aligning perfectly for the local industry.
“At this stage, it looks like it'll also be record levels of payment to growers on the record crop, so we're certainly getting it from both good yields and good prices," Skinner told the ABC. "And the Australian dollar, with it having fallen, will increase returns from those export markets.”
Skinner added that the majority of the 2-15 crop had been pre-sold, with exceptional growing conditions generating strong demand for the Australian product.
“We don't like rain during the harvest period,” Skinner explained. “In the Riverland and Sunraysia, we've had that spell of hot weather which has been ideal.”