The weather conditions for Australian table grapes are so far said to be “excellent’ and are expected to last throughout the season.
This has helped boost production forecasts to a record 220,000 metric tons for the 2023-24 season, according to the USDA’s Australia: Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual Report.
Weather conditions are also expected to produce high-quality grapes, increasing the supply for export markets. This season’s production volume would represent the third-highest export result on record of 140,000 metric tons.
Additionally, increased production is expected to boost consumption by 5%.
The report indicates that a key positive for the Australian table grape industry is that growers have expanded acreage and have focused on new proprietary, and export-oriented table grape varieties.
The varieties chosen are driven by the strong demand from Asian markets such as China. Chinese consumers are increasingly turning away from seeded varieties like Red Globe to seedless varieties and are also interested in trying new varieties and flavors.
China is the main market for Australian table grapes and Australia is currently one of the top three suppliers for the Asian country.
Other major Asian markets include Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Japan and Hong Kong. Collectively, these Asian markets have received 80–85% of Australia’s total table grape exports.
The other two major suppliers to China are Peru and Chile, which together with Australia represent 90% of total table grape imports.
Australia’s competitive advantage lies in its shorter transportation time of 18-20 days, while fruit coming from South America can take around 35 days to arrive.