A record Australian macadamia crop has been met with rapid growth in demand out of North Asian markets.
Upon announcing the sector’s performance over the recently completed 2016 season, the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) revealed exports to South Korea have increased by 150 per cent since a free trade agreement between the two nations was ratified in late 2014 . Exports to Japan have leapt 18 per cent since a similar trade pact entered force in January 2015.
The 2016 Australian crop came in at 52,000 tonnes in-shell (at 10 per cent moisture), slightly higher than the original forecast of 50,000 tonnes. The performance betters last year’s record harvest volume by 8 per cent. Kernel production remained on par with 2015 at 10,500 tonnes.
For the first time, the Bundaberg region produced the single largest share of the nation’s macadamia nuts, accounting for more than 40 per cent of the crop.
AMS chief executive Jolyon Burnett said there were several reasons for the good result, including favourable weather conditions throughout the season, and a longer than expected harvest.
“There have been no adverse weather events and good prices have made it economically viable for growers to complete additional harvest rounds.” Burnett explained.
“Growers devoted significant time and resources into this crop, investing heavily in productivity improvements in their orchards. This is now paying dividends in terms of production, and orchards are in good condition going into next season.”
Burnett said indications to date are positive for another good Australian macadamia crop in 2017.