THE United Arab Emirates might be eating more Australian vegetables than ever but Japan still holds plenty of bang for buck in terms of export value for growers.
Meanwhile at a product level, it seems Aussie carrots continue to be a taste favourite for foreign consumers in terms of both export value and volume.
Ausveg released new figures and insights into vegetable exports last week with glowing figures for the past year.
Ausveg reported the value and volume of fresh Australian vegetable exports increased in 2017/18, following strong trading conditions in key export markets in Asia and the Middle East.
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Increased demand for Australian-grown vegetables in the region and increased activities and investment in securing the exporting capabilities of the industry’s growers have also contributed to the positive figures.
The value of fresh Australian vegetable exports increased by three per cent to $262.4 million in 2017/18.
Over the same period, the volume of fresh vegetable exports also increased by 9pc to 208,000 tonnes.
This continues a recent upward trend for vegetable exports and bolster's Ausveg's ambitious aim to see a 40pc growth in the market to $315 million in fresh vegetable exports by 2020.
The top five markets for fresh vegetable exports by volume in 2017/18 were:
- United Arab Emirates (UAE)
- South Korea
- Saudi Arabia
These make up just more than 60pc of Australia’s total fresh vegetable export volume.
In terms of exports by value however, Singapore was on top, followed by the UAE, Japan, Malaysia and Hong Kong, with the top three of these markets making up more than 50pc of the industry’s total fresh vegetable export value.
Ausveg national manager – export development, Michael Coote, said the whole vegetable category was averaging 10pc year-on-year growth over the past three years.
“Carrots are the number one traded fresh vegetable commodity by both volume and value, with steady year-on-year growth over a sustained period of time indicating that demand for Australian carrots remains strong,” Mr Coote said.
“Over 85pc of Australia's fresh vegetable export volume is comprised of carrots, potatoes and onions.
"However, we still see positive growth in some other categories, including asparagus, which despite only comprising 2pc of fresh vegetable exports by volume, make up 11pc of fresh vegetable export trade by value and are the second highest value fresh vegetable commodity at $28 million.”
Ausveg pointed out the various activities it instigated in order to bolster export markets, including five outbound trade missions where 42 grower-exporters were taken to key export markets.
“The industry has increased its focus on boosting the value and volume of its vegetable exports, with work being undertaken by Ausveg, Hort Innovation and other groups in building the exporting skills of Australian growers and providing opportunities to build relationships with foreign buyers, as well as supporting the Taste Australia trade program,” Mr Coote said.