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Fruit sector sees increase in value during 2019/20 with exports a key driver of growth

Publication date: 25 February 2021

In 2019/20, the horticulture sector exceeded $15 billion in production value with fruit accounting for 38 per cent of total value. During this period, fruit production value increased year-on-year by three per cent from $5,545 million to $5,695 million.

Despite the increase in value, the fruit sector also saw a four per cent decrease in the volume of fruit produced from 2.62 million to 2.57 million tonnes. This was a result of seasonal conditions such as bushfires and prolonged drought which impacted temperate crops in particular.

Hort Innovation Head of Data and Insights Adam Briggs said “In 2019/20, we saw increased value coupled with decreased volume, which drove an increase in the unit price for fruit. This price increase will have softened the impact of seasonal conditions across some affected industries. For example, whilst cherry production volume decreased by 26.9 per cent, the unit value of production increased by 33 per cent.”

The top five performing fruit industries, based on year-to-year production value growth, were kiwifruit (40.5 per cent), passionfruit (21.6 per cent), mandarins (19.6 per cent), papaya/pawpaw (15.6 per cent) and blueberries (15 per cent).

Exports continue to be a consistent driver of growth for Australia’s fruit industries, with export volume as a share of total production volume increasing from 18 per cent in 2018/19 to 20 per cent in 2019/20. The overall volume of fruit exported also increased by 8 per cent during this time period, and export value increased by 11 per cent.

The top five industries for year-on-year export value growth were apricots (70.8 per cent), strawberries (36.9 per cent), mandarins (34.3 per cent), grapefruit (28.6 per cent) and avocados (26.9 per cent).

The top five industries in terms of export value were table grapes ($623 million), oranges ($310 million), mandarins ($187 million), cherries ($82 million) and nectarines/peaches ($64 million).

Hort Innovation has recently launched the latest Australian Horticulture Statistics Handbook which offers the most comprehensive and contemporary data available on all sectors of the Australian horticulture industry in one easy-to-read-guide.

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