An insatiable demand from China has propelled Australian citrus exports to record heights so far this year.
Figures released by industry body Citrus Australia show overall export sales generated A$277.6m until the end of August, a 23 per cent increase compared to the same point of 2016. Export volumes were up 11 per cent year-on-year, at 161,111 tonnes.
Australian mandarins are proving increasingly popular with consumers in offshore markets, with 48,077 tonnes exported as of 31 August. This marks a 23 per cent increase on last year, the highest growth percentage of any citrus category.
On a month-by-month basis, the August exports for mandarins were 20 per cent higher than for the same month in 2016. “At 22,498 tonnes the volume was a record for mandarin exports for any single month,” Citrus Australia said in a statement on their website.
Oranges continue to be Australia’s largest citrus export category by volume, with 110,528 tonnes shipped over the first eight months of 2017 (up 8 per cent on 2016), while ‘other’ citrus came in at 2,507 tonnes (down 37 per cent).
China is now the Australian industry’s biggest export market, with a total of 46,512 tonnes shipped to the People’s Republic so far this year, a figure that already surpasses last year’s total of 39,591 tonnes. Japan (28,214 tonnes), Hong Kong (13,338 tonnes), the US (8,520 tonnes) and Malaysia (7,299 tonnes) rounded out the top five.