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Australia Wraps Up Table Grape Season With Exports Exceeding 130,000 Tons

August 08, 2023

According to the Australian Table Grape Association, the country’s table grape season has finished on a positive note, in spite of an ominous start.

During the initial phase of this season, warm and humid weather adversely affected producers in various growing regions across Australia. Numerous growers reportedly faced production delays of 3–4 weeks and encountered higher-than-normal incidences of pests and diseases. However, despite these challenging weather conditions, both domestic sales and exports in 2023 have shown remarkable recovery compared with the previous two years. The export volume of fresh table grapes surged by 20,000 metric tons, with the total volume surpassing 130,000 metric tons and export revenue exceeding $570 million. Although this figure remains below the pre-pandemic peak, it still signifies an improvement over the most recent two seasons.

Jeff Scott, CEO of ATGA, remarked that producers demonstrated commendable performance this season despite facing multiple challenges. During November and December of last year, the Sunraysia and Queensland growing regions encountered rainfall, hail and floods, resulting in elevated risks of downy mildew and powdery mildew compared with typical years. Nonetheless, the producers in these regions implemented suitable measures and were in the end relatively unaffected.

According to Scott, the weather events had no impact on the quality, although the grapes required more time for color development and ripening. While nearly all of the early-season grapes were consumed by the domestic market, a significant quantity of mid- and late-season varieties matured simultaneously, prompting a swift and concurrent harvest. This led to overabundance, resulting in some markets being oversupplied.

It is worth noting that several overseas markets have displayed encouraging signs of recovery. For instance, in 2023, China accounted for 40% of Australian table grape exports, marking a significant increase from the previous year’s 28%.

Producers and exporters are looking forward to a year of more stable production, anticipating a return to normal climatic conditions. In an effort to broaden export channels for the sector, ATGA is actively collaborating with the Australian government to improve market access to Thailand and the Philippines and secure access to Japan for all grape varieties. At present, the Northeast Asian country only accepts two table grape varieties from Australia.

Image: Pixabay

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

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