Australia is the 20th largest exporter in the world, exporting goods worth $243b. Agriculture is a key driver of this figure through our livestock, wheat, barley and now, through citrus and table grape exports.
Three decades ago, Australian apple and pear exports exceeded 30 per cent of marketable production. Since then, high production costs, complex export protocols and a high Australian dollar have slowed industry’s appetite for supplying fruit to overseas markets.
Today, just 1–2 percent of our marketable production of apples are sent overseas, and approximately 8 per cent of pears. Of these, a large proportion is ad hoc or opportunistic, sourced by consolidators in wholesale markets rather than as part of a planned export program.
With an international reputation for quality, product integrity, ethical supply chain practices and the geographic location to fill seasonal windows, the Australian apple and pear industry has many competitive advantages.
The Export Readiness and Market Access program is working to establish the frameworks, tools and expertise that will be needed to meet this target.
Export opportunities for apples and pears
Hover over the map above to see what classification has been applied to specific countries.
Negotiations to permit Australian apples access into China are currently underway, led by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. Work to produce fruit for higher value markets like China will take more effort, but Citrus Australia’s export experience in China demonstrate the rewards are there for growers who are committed to building long term, stable export relationships.
Chinese access aside, Australian apples and pears are already sought after in other markets which should be an incentive for growers to become ‘export ready’.
The leading markets for Australian apples in recent years have been Papua New Guinea, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates and Thailand. Small volumes are also supplied to other Asian markets including Singapore, Hong Kong, China and Taiwan.
For pears, the leading markets are New Zealand, Indonesia, Canada, Hong Kong and Singapore. Borrowing elements from successful controlled variety-programmes, APAL is also hoping to open doors into Asia and other priority markets for Australian pears with Goulburn River Gold® and new blush pear Rico®, with the first shipment to Thailand occurring in 2019. Read more.
The 2017 Apple and Pear Industry Export Development Strategy 2017-2022 assessed countries to classify their attractiveness for Australian apple and pear exports, and ranked according to the following four classifications:
- Prime Prospect
- Opportunistic Trading
- Low Priority
- Access Constrained