The recently agreed bilateral free trade agreements between Australia and Korea and Australia and Japan will assist our almond industry by removing tariffs of 8% and 2.4% respectively. This will further the almond industry’s impressive development of export markets which during our last marketing year (March 2013 to February 2014), increased 57% in tonnage whilst the value of exports as recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics rose from $156million to $370 million. Australian marketers made sales to 49 countries with India topping the list with export sales of $101 million. The Australian almond industry is the first to export product worth more than $300 million in a calendar year. The domestic market continued to grow albeit slower than the previous year but the 20% gain of the previous year was consolidated with a further increase of 3%. In total, the marketers of Australian almonds made sales in excess of $500 million. During the year, the average monthly export price for Australian almonds rose from $5.20 in February 2013 to $8.12 in February 2014. The global sales volumes were constrained by the availability of almonds. This had been predicted based on the growth history in sales and the tailing off of plantings in percentage terms in the USA and Australia over the past few years. Effectively, the global market has increased
on average by more than the current size of the Australian industry each year for the past decade. The severe drought situation facing the Californian central valley has been a key driver of the increased world prices. The Australian return from export sales has also benefited from the lower Australian dollar. Looking to the year ahead, the marketing year will start with prices higher than at the same time last year. The crop estimate is for a smaller crop than in 2013. 65,000 tonnes is the current estimate. With some carryover, the available supply of Australian almonds will be slightly down compared to last year. Despite this, the value of sales by the Australian industry is still likely to grow given the higher world price and
of virus tested, true to type material have jumped and equate to an orchard area of 1,000 hectares. Australia is now clearly the second largest producer of almonds with the 2013 and 2014 crops being significantly larger than those grown in Spain. The Australian crop is moving towards 90,000 tonnes that we believe is the productive capacity of current orchard plantings once trees are mature. The ABA will soon be holding regional meetings and we look forward to seeing many industry members in attendance to be part of a discussion on the way forward for the industry in terms of market development, new technology and an improved operating environment.
the slightly lower Californian crop already predicted due to drought. The US drought situation has also created renewed interest from overseas in investing in established Australian almond orchards and
in developing new plantings. There has also been interest from Australian investors and growers looking to exit unprofitable horticultural crops. The Budwood sales