Britain’s move to depart the European Union could have repercussions for fruit producers on the other side of the world.
The UK is currently the second largest importer of Australian apples, with shipments totalling 699 tonnes over the 2015 calendar year, accounting for 18 per cent of Australian exports.
With Australia’s 2016 sales programmes to the UK scheduled to ramp-up over the coming months, experts suggest the economic uncertainty created by Brexit could see a reduction in the volume shipped.
“The key issue for current apple exports to the UK is the value of the British Pound,” said Garry Langford of Apple & Pear Australia (APAL). “If the British Pound falls too much it will make our apples, and all other imports for that matter, more expensive in the UK and potentially reduce imports.”
In an article published in its weekly newsletter, Industry Juice, APAL said exporters had always responded to changes in the value of the Australian Dollar against their trading partners’ currencies, and were confident this instance would be no different.
“In that sense, the British Pound changing value is all part of business-as-usual when it comes to trading internationally,” the article noted, adding that the UK will remain a valued trading partner.
APAL also revealed that at the end of April 2016, Australian apple exports were tracking 114 per cent higher than the same period last year.