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Australia’s fresh vegetable exports lift to $299 million

High demand for fresh Australian vegetables in key export markets saw exports increase by 6.6 per cent in value to A$299 million in 2019 according to Ausveg.

Carrots continued to be the largest export product last year with 34 per cent of the total exported volume. Some of the other sought after fresh produce includes potato, onion, celery, broccoli and cauliflower.

Onions experienced the most export growth in 2019, with the value of exported produce increasing by 67 per cent to A$40 million last year. Tasmanian growers were the biggest contributors to this increasing exports by 91 per cent. Western Australian and South Australian growers also saw a growth in their exports by 67 per cent and 47 per cent respectively.

The volume of fresh vegetable exports have also grew despite challenging trading and production conditions. Volume increased by 5.4 per cent to 230,000 tonnes in 2019.

Ausveg said the top markets for Australian fresh vegetables remained stable last year, including Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia (replacing Hong Kong for fifth position).

Ausveg national manager – export development Michael Coote said the Australian vegetable industry made significant progress in gaining more exports which shows how hard the vegetable growers are working.

“The continued rise in the value of vegetable exports is particularly impressive when you consider that Australian vegetables, including onions, are lower-priced products that are being grown in a high-cost environment, due to the rising costs of labour, electricity and water. So even as they experience vulnerability to fluctuating exchange rates that make it harder for vegetable growers to compete in a global market, fresh vegetable exports continue to grow,” said Coote.

He said that the Vegetable Industry Export Program by Ausveg and Hort Innovation helped facilitate exports by bringing over 40 buyers to see local production.

“The industry is well on its way to reach the ambitious target of A$315 million in fresh vegetable exports by 2020 as outlined by the industry’s export strategy. We are working with growers to ensure they have the skills and knowhow to improve their ability to export their produce and capitalise on increasing demand for fresh, Australian-grown vegetable produce,” said Coote.

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