AU: Expanding avocado production seeks opportunities in Asia
Australia, with its huge variety of climates, has the capacity to grow avocados all year-round in different production sites in Queensland and down the east coast. John Tyas, CEO of the Avocados Australia Board, explains that “most of this fruit is currently intended for the domestic market, which absorbs about 95% of the production. Exports go mostly to Singapore, Malaysia and a little to the Middle East.”
At the moment, the Board is in the middle of re-negotiations with Thailand because of a new protocol, but it is also looking to enter China, “where there are huge opportunities. We are really interested in gaining access, because a third of Australia’s plantations have yet to come into full production.”
As far as acreage goes, Australia currently has 8,000 hectares, from which 65,000 tonnes are produced per year. “With the new plantings, the production is expected to increase by 50% in the next 5 or 6 years. It won’t be long before we reach 100,000 tonnes per year,” affirms John.
“We still think there’s room for growth domestically, but exports are a very important part of the mix, particularly to the Asian market, which accepts small calibres that Australia doesn’t value. Mexico is already exporting and Chile has also just gained access to China, and these two will hopefully help turn avocados into a less exclusive product in the Chinese market.”