Stone Fruit Annual

An Expert's View about Pome Fruits (such as apples or pears) and Stone Fruits (such as peaches, cherries, etc.) in Australia

Last updated: 15 Sep 2011

Production and exports of cherries, peaches and nectarines are forecast to rebound in CY2012. A return to normal weather is expected to see improved stone fruit production following record wet conditions in CY 2010.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 8/11/2011 GAIN Report Number: AS1122 Australia Stone Fruit Annual 2011 Approved By: Joe Carroll, Agricultural Counselor Prepared By: Mike Darby, Agricultural Specialist Report Highlights: Production and exports of cherries, peaches and nectarines are forecast to rebound in CY2012. A return to normal weather is expected to see improved stone fruit production following record wet conditions in CY 2010, which slashed total production and reduced fruit quality in CY2011. Despite the reopening of the Taiwanese export market and a significant increase in the availability of stone fruit suitable for export, a record high Australian dollar value is expected to limit stone fruit exports in CY2012. Cherry imports are expected to remain at near record levels in CY2011 and CY2012. Summary Following a difficult harvest in CY2011, stone fruit production is forecast to increase in CY2012. Despite the forecast increase, however, the Australian stone fruit industry will probably not fully recover until 2013. Heavy rainfall and w AU/US Exchange rate idespread flooding in CY2010 adversely effected production and reduced the quality of the CY2011 stone fruit crop, and production fell to levels below Post?s previous (AU$ in US cents) expectations. However, a1 ret0urn 0to normal weather conditions in CY2011 should support increased production and improved quality in CY 2012. Industry sources advise however, that some of the negative effects streaming fro9m th5e 2010 flooding will likely carry over to the CY2012 crop. Eastern Australia appears to h9ave0 fully recovered from the nearly 10 years of record breaking drought conditions, with widespread, soaking rains beginning on Christmas day 2009. CY2010 has been compared with the legendary rainfall year of 1974 which saw devastating cyclones in 85 northern Australia (Cyclone Tracey) and heavy flooding in southern and eastern Australia. Wi 80despread rainfall and flooding in CY2010 has completely recharged irrigation reservoirs. Production over the longer term (2013 and 2014), particularly in the crucial irrigated areas of no 75rthern Victoria and southern NSW, will likely be boosted beyond the outlook period. The 70 Australian dollar recently reached a record high against the U.S dollar ($Aus = $US1.10) and this is expected to constrain export prospects in CY2011. A strong Australian dollar is expected to persist into 65 CY2012. 60 55 50 2001/02 2002/03 2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11 Source: ABARES Data Australia regained access to Taiwan for cherries, peaches and nectarines on August 2, 2009. This market had been closed since January 2006 and according to trade estimates was said to be worth around AU$20 million annually. The resulting oversupply of stone fruit on the domestic market caused further losses to Australian stone fruit growers. Despite the reopening of this export market, export volumes appear to be slow to recover due to a sharp decline in the availability of export quality fruit in CY 2011. Commodities: Fresh Cherries,(Sweet&Sour) Fresh Peaches & Nectarines Cherries Production Total cherry production for CY2012 is forecast at 11,500 MT, up substantially on the revised estimate of 7,500 MT for CY2011. A return to normal weather conditions in the lead-up to, and during, the CY2012 crop harvest is expected to see both production and quality improve markedly. Furthermore, a recovery in irrigation water storage volumes, as well as increased soil moisture, should see production continue to rise beyond the forecast period. Torrential rainfall experienced throughout CY2010, caused major crop losses and reduced the CY2011 crop quality. Subsequently production estimates for CY2011 have been slashed downwards to 7,500 MT, in-line with industry estimates. Industry sources advise that some of this weather damage may extend into the CY2012 crop and do not expect production to immediately bounce back to levels evidenced in previous years. Exports Cherry exports in CY 2012 are forecast at 2,000 MT, up sharply on the revised export estimate of 890 MT for CY2011. Increases in both the quantity and the quality of cherries produced should see the surplus of cherries available for export rise sharply. Post advises however, that the current high value of the Australian dollar, which recently reached US$1.10, is expected to remain historically high for the foreseeable future and this is likely to place some constraints on greater increases in cherry exports for CY2012. Imports 3500 Cherry Trade (MT) Total cherry imports for CY2012 is forecast to reach 2,550 MT, up slightly on the 2,500 MT estimated for CY2011. Industry sources state the record 2009/10 level for imports at 2,557 MT and remain hopeful that this record will be broken in CY2012, or possibly even CY2011. Lower domestic p 2500roduction combined with the historically high Australian dollar value is likely to see high, if not record, import volumes. 1500 500 -500 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Imports Exports Source: WTA Data Policy A final push by importers and buyers in WA and Northwest Horticultural Council and Northwest Cherry Growers has resulted in the first shipment of cherries from the Pacific North West (PNW ? Washington & Oregon) to Western Australia on July 13, 2011. This is the first fresh U.S. fruit product to gain access to the WA market. U.S. cherries have had access to the eastern states of Australia since the late 1990s for California & 2001 for PNW. Since that time, U.S. industry and government have been pushing for access to Western Australia who maintains their own quarantine regulations which have been very difficult to overcome (and also restrict product coming from eastern Australian states). It is expected that this development will result in additional shipments valued at $200,000-300,000 (as the season is already underway). For the longer term, the WA market should be worth at least $1-2 million annually, based on the history of growth in other Australian states. Western Australian consumers have fewer fruit choices in winter (during the U.S. supply season), because the very stringent WA state quarantine barriers even exclude fruit from the eastern states of Australia so they are restricted to locally grown produce. Statistical Table Fresh Cherries,(Sweet&Sour) 2010 2011 2012 Australia Market Year Begin: Jan Market Year Begin: Jan Market Year Begin: Jan 2010 2011 2012 USDA New USDA New USDA New Official Post Official Post Official Post Area Planted 1,240 1,240 1,300 1,300 1,325 Area Harvested 1,050 1,050 1,100 1,100 1,150 Bearing Trees 2,100 2,100 2,200 2,200 2,250 Non-Bearing Trees 350 350 300 300 275 Total Trees 2,450 2,450 2,500 2,500 2,525 Commercial Production 10,750 10,750 13,750 7,500 11,500 Non-Comm. Production 0 0 0 0 0 Production 10,750 10,750 13,750 7,500 11,500 Imports 2,636 2,636 2,500 2,500 2,550 Total Supply 13,386 13,386 16,250 10,000 14,050 Fresh Dom. Consumption 11,486 11,973 14,050 9,110 12,050 Exports 1,900 1,413 2,200 890 2,000 For Processing 0 0 0 0 0 Withdrawal From Market 0 0 0 0 0 Total Distribution 13,386 13,386 16,250 10,000 14,050 HA, 1000 TREES, MT Fresh Peaches and Nectarines Production Total peach and nectarine production for CY2012 is forecast to increase to 95,000 MT, in response to a return to normal weather conditions. The forecast increase in production remains conservative compared to the CY2010 product level (98,000 MT), due to the likely continuing long-term effects of adverse weather conditions suffered in the lead-up to the CY2011 crop. Peaches and nectarine production estimates have been revised downwards to 90,000 MT for CY2011, in line with industry estimates. Difficult weather conditions in CY2010 caused significant Peaches and Nectarine Exports (MT) losses and downgrading quality for the CY2011 harvest. 11,00 Exports 10,000 9,000 Total exports of peaches and8 nectarines in CY2012 are forecast to increase to 5,000 MT as ,000 improved production and improved average crop quality combine to sharply increase the quantity o 7,000f peaches and nectarines suitable for export. Post has revised its CY2011 export estimate for peaches and nectarines down6war,ds0 shar0ply 0due to the sharp decline in quality and quantity of peaches and nectarines prod5uced, in0 tha0t yea0r. 4,000 3,000 2,000 1,000 0 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Total Exports Exports to Taiwan Exports to Hong Kong Source: WTA Data Hong Kong remains Australia?s largest export market. Taiwan was closed to Australian stone fruit exporters in CY2006 and was not reopened until CY2009. According to official statistics, trade has been slow to resume with the Jan-May period of CY 2011 showing only 242 MT of trade, or around 8 percent of the total market. Year to Date Exports Peaches and Nectarines (MT) 2009 (Jan-May) 2010 (Jan-May) 2011 (Jan-May) Total Exports 4,766 4,453 2,953 Exports to Taiwan 52 18 242 Exports to Hong Kong 2,641 2,668 1,388 Malaysia 182 142 104 Singapore 481 460 376 United Arab Emirates 797 699 605 United Kingdom 28 5 0 Other 585 461 238 Source: WTA Data Policy Australia finalized import requirements for U.S. stone fruit (peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots) from California and the Pacific North West (PNW) States of Idaho, Oregon and Washington in July 2010. However, market access will not be realized until mitigations are negotiated and accepted by Australia for the spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii or SWD). SWD was first detected in the U.S. in 2009 and is a pest of concern to Australia. Negotiations are underway to finalize mutually agreed SWD mitigations prior to the 2011 shipping season which begins in late spring. Statistical Table Fresh Peaches & Nectarines 2010 2011 2012 Australia Market Year Begin: Jan Market Year Begin: Jan Market Year Begin: Jan 2010 2011 2012 USDA Official New Post USDA Official New Post USDA Official New Post Area Planted 1,955 1,955 1,955 1,955 1,955 Area Harvested 0 0 0 0 0 Bearing Trees 2,450 2,450 2,450 2,450 2,450 Non-Bearing Trees 350 350 350 350 350 Total Trees 2,800 2,800 2,800 2,800 2,800 Commercial Production 98,000 98,000 105,500 90,000 95,000 Non-Comm. Production 0 0 0 0 0 Production 98,000 98,000 105,500 90,000 95,000 Imports 0 0 0 0 0 Total Supply 98,000 98,000 105,500 90,000 95,000 Fresh Dom. Consumption 45,000 45,000 50,000 40,000 45,000 Exports 5,900 5,458 8,000 3,602 5,000 For Processing 47,100 47,542 47,500 46,398 45,000 Withdrawal From Market 0 0 0 0 0 Total Distribution 98,000 98,000 105,500 90,000 95,000 HA, 1000 TREES, MT Recent Reports from FAS/Canberra The reports listed below can all be downloaded from the FAS website at: http://www.fas.usda.gov/scriptsw/AttacheRep/default.asp. Title of Report Date US Cherries Break Through Quarantine Barrier into Western Australia 07/19/11 Agricultural Biotechnology Report 06/29/11 Exporter Guide 06/22/11 Sugar Update 2011 06/20/11 Ag DownUnder June 2011 06/07/11 Dairy Semi Annual 2011 05/09/11
Posted: 14 September 2011, last updated 15 September 2011

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