As Australian cherry exports rebound, industry eyes Indian market

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As Australian cherry exports rebound, industry eyes Indian market

All states in Australia recorded higher cherry export volumes compared to last season, according to a season-end webinar to update growers and exporters. The event, organized by Cherry Growers Australia (CGA), also highlighted the promise for Australian cherries in the Indian market.

Director and Senior Analyst Wayne Prowse celebrated the country’s increase in exports this season, but clarified they’re still not at 100%. 

“The country saw a 43% increase in exports this 2023-2024 season,” Prowse said. “While the 43% percent is exciting growth and the last two years have been much worse, as you would all truly know, getting over 4,000 tons was good. But it’s still not the long-term growth [needed] to getting back to where it was from around 2017 to 2020.

Tasmania accounted for 54% of the total cherry crop exports with 2,207 tons, followed by Victoria with 1,449 tons and a 35% share.  In third place, New South Wales saw an increase of 136%, but still only represented  7% of the overall crop. 

Hong Kong and China are the country’s biggest importers, followed by Taiwan, Vietnam and Singapore. Australia’s season overlaps with Chile, the biggest cherry exporter in the world with 94% of its campaign going to China, the biggest importer of cherries in the world. 

Chile dominates many major markets when it comes to cherries; however, Australia is the market leader in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Hong Kong imported 54% of Australia’s cherries this season.  

The Indian market

Yemee Fernandes, from Four Pillars Trading Australia, spoke about the partnership between Australia and India. The Australia-India Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA), signed in April 2022, has granted Australian producers access to the Indian market and the opportunity to diversify their exports. 

Fernandes spoke about the country’s diversity and connectivity, and mentioned the success of Australian macadamia nuts in India. With India’s import tariffs on macadamia nuts reduced from 32% to 21.4%, a number expected to hit zero by 2029, Australia enjoyed greater success in the category. 

According to the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, macadamia nuts have grown to be Australia’s third most valuable horticulture export. According to the organization, the value of macadamia nut exports increased from AU$116 million in 2012-13 to $318 million in 2021-22. Exports increased mainly thanks particularly China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and the United States. 

During the cherry growers event, the new CGA president, Alison Jones, also shared information about their export manual available for members. The guide will provide informational tools on training new staff and market entry options, updated yearly.

On April 25, Yentzen Group and Frutas de Chile will host the Global Cherry Summit at Monticello Conference Center in San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile.

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