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Report examines fruit export opportunities

Export opportunities for high quality Western Australian fruit have been identified in a market analysis published by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.

Department Irrigated Agriculture Executive Director John Ruprecht said the State’s fruit exports had grown substantially, led by exports of strawberries overseas and avocadoes to interstate.

“WA fruit production is worth $480 million annually, an increase of more than 60 per cent over the past four years,” Mr Ruprecht said.

“The ‘Market opportunities for WA fruits’ report aims to continue this growth by identifying high-value markets for key WA fruits.

“Our horticulture industries are adopting new production and post-harvest handling technologies to harvest high-quality produce that is counter-seasonal to the northern hemisphere.”

The report provides an overview of international markets and examines export potential for seven selected fruits – apples, avocados, table grapes, melons, oranges, plums and strawberries.

Report author Manju Radhakrishnan said overseas markets, mainly in Asia and the Middle East, were analysed for their capacity to absorb high value produce from WA.

“The analysis considered a range of factors including market size, trends, quality of imports, seasonal advantage, tariff details, competitors and viability of the market,” Ms Radhakrishnan said.

“The quantity and price of global imports have grown in the past five year period for all the fruits analysed.”

Singapore showed high potential for all the fruits analysed. Other markets showing good potential for several fruits included Japan, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Indonesia, China, Malaysia and Thailand.

Ms Radhakrishnan said WA apples would benefit from focusing on specialty segments, such as the BravoTM-branded apple.

“For avocadoes, there are good potential gains in access to a premium market such as Thailand, a high volume market like Japan and the fast growing China market,” she said.

“For strawberries, WA has a clear seasonal advantage as the United States is the only competitor during this time of the year. She said the report provided market intelligence available from desktop research so that potential exporters from WA could make informed decisions.”