It’s no secret that export markets have been the growth platform for Australian horticulture through the last decade. In the period from 2013 to 2021, fresh fruit, vegetable and nut exports have increased in value by $1.35bn, representing 33% of total growth across the sector.
While labour shortages, constraints on freight and varied market sentiment driven by the COVID-19 pandemic have posed key challenges to industry, the quality of Australian produce has continued to be acknowledged in price compared to its Southern Hemisphere competitors.
To complicate this picture, several factors are likely to increase volatility in the short to medium term across these markets. While the availability of transport options to export markets is likely to continue globally, this is likely to favour shorter transit times of Australian exports to many of its largest trading partners over their South American competitors. Counter to this, uncertainty over the developing conflict in Eastern Europe is likely to divert trade and increase competition into other export destinations.
For continued development of Australian exports, an increased understanding into these markets is required to guide targeting efforts. However, maintaining advantages required for extension into these markets will require enhanced understanding into the price and volume performance of Southern Hemisphere competitors, along with their production seasonality.
With many export markets maturing beyond frontier access, a higher level of intel will be required for the next stage of Australian export development.