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Australia Seeking China Market Access for Avocados, Apples and Blueberries

June 13, 2024

The Australian avocado sector may become one of the next beneficiaries of the warming relationship between China and Australia, with hopes that the fruit will soon gain access to the Chinese market.

John Tyas, CEO of Avocados Australia, noted that the association had signed a memorandum of understanding with the China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association last November. This agreement ensures comprehensive sharing of inspection and quarantine information to promote market access. However, China has strict sanitary and phytosanitary standards for fresh produce imports, which often leads to prolonged negotiations ahead of export agreements being finalized. Tyas hopes that the ongoing negotiations can progress quickly.

According to Avocados Australia, the Australian government is also negotiating with China to allow apples and blueberries into the Chinese market, while China is attempting to secure access to the Australian market for its red dates and kiwifruit.

Headquartered in Queensland, Avocados Australia is the advocacy group for the Australian avocado industry. The peak production period for Australian avocados lasts from April to December each year, with the Hass variety accounting for approximately 83% of total production and being available throughout the year. The Shepard variety follows, accounting for 14% of total production and maturing from February to April each year. Although Australian avocado production is much lower than that in Mexico and South American countries, favorable growing conditions have led to a significant increase in production, resulting in a severe oversupply on the domestic market. Therefore, the industry urgently needs to explore overseas markets.

According to official data from Avocados Australia, Australia harvested 115,385 metric tons of avocados in the 2022/23 season, with 65% of this output originating from Queensland. Once access to the Chinese market has been secured, China is expected to become the largest overseas market for Australian avocados.

Tyas also mentioned that the association, along with Australian avocado exporters, will visit Yunnan province later this year to meet with Chinese wholesalers, importers and retailers to gain a deeper understanding of the local market. They will also attend the China International Food Expo held in Shanghai.

Tyas noted that Australia currently exports its avocados primarily to Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and India. Japan used to be Asia’s largest avocado market, but it has since been surpassed by China. Between 2015 and 2023, China’s total import and export volumes of avocados rocketed by 310% to 65,600 metric tons, with the total trade value surging by 235% to $106 million during the same period. China is gradually becoming a significant emerging market for the global avocado trade.

Image: Pixabay

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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