Australia anticipates strong grape season

For fresh produce marketing in Australia and New Zealand
Emily French

BY EMILY FRENCH

Australia anticipates strong grape season

Industry has predicted a huge crop, with picking to commence two weeks early due to warm weather

Australia anticipates strong grape season

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The Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA) has forecast an enormous, early crop this season.

According to Jeff Scott, ATGA's chief executive officer, growers throughout Australia anticipate that they will commence picking two weeks early because of warm weather.

"Growers have advised me that bud burst has happened on a lot of the vines," Scott told the ABC.

"All the remarks so far seem to indicate firstly that the season’s going to be one to two weeks earlier than previous years and that there's going to be more fruit on the vine."

He added that this directly follows a stellar export season last year, which came close to record levels.

"Last year we exported close to $200 million worth of fresh fruit, which is one of our biggest years ever," he said. "China and Hong Kong take 50 per cent of our export market.

"We even beat citrus which was unusual. Normally citrus is the biggest, but last year we were bigger."

While Queensland's unusually high yields have hit prices, Scott has stated that consumers can expect to pay A$3.99-4.99 (US$3.75-4.69) per kilo this season.

Some growers depend on early season premiums to offset freight costs, especially those in the Alice Springs region.

Although Central Australia's growers comprise less than 1 per cent of the market, they can expect somewhere A$10-$15 (US$9.40-14.11) per kilo during December, according to Scott.

 

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