Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt
Queensland’s Citrus Industry Enjoys Record Export Season In 2016
Victor P Taffa
Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt has congratulated Queensland citrus producers especially in Bundaberg, Emerald, Mareeba and the Central Burnett regions on a record export season in 2016.
Treasurer Pitt said the latest trade data from Citrus Australia showed Queensland growers shipped $67 Million worth of fruit to overseas consumers, that’s a 30 % increase on the previous season’s export figures.
“During the season, from January to November 2016, around 34,000 tonnes primarily of mandarins, but also lemons, grapefruit and limes from Queensland, were sent to markets in Asia, the United Arab Emirates, New Zealand and Canada.” Treasurer Pitt said.
“Queensland citrus growers are reporting that 2016 was their most successful export season for many years and they are looking to increasing their plantings of new export varieties to capitalise on their export opportunities.”
“Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ), the government’s global business agency, coordinated and supported numerous outbound and inbound trade missions to and from China, Thailand, India, Vietnam and Taiwan during the 2016 season.” Treasurer Pitt said.
Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson thanked TIQ and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for working with local citrus exporters to overcome market impediments.
“This has included developing new market opportunities in a number of international markets like China, Thailand and India.” Ms. Donaldson said.
“Queensland has combined citrus plantings totalling approx. 3,590 ha and is the largest producer of mandarins in Australia.”
“I’m proud to say that the Bundaberg and Central Burnett regions are the biggest contributor of mandarins to Queensland’s citrus output.” Ms. Donaldson said.
Citrus Grower Michael McMahon of Abbotsleigh Citrus near Bundaberg said that last year had been a standout year for the Queensland citrus industry.
“We have had good demand and good prices.” Mr. McMahon said.
“There has been a combination of factors that have assisted in boosting exports. Apart from the market development work undertaken by TIQ, the lower Australian dollar, which has had a big impact, and the Free Trade Agreements have certainly helped.”
“We saw an immediate increase in sales to China once the CHAFTA came into effect.” Mr. McMahon said.
“Industry is confident about the future of the export market, and certainly we expect that exporting will be where the growth is for our industry.”
Mr. McMahon acknowledged the work of TIQ and DAF whose officers worked closely with the region’s citrus growers to find new opportunities after the 2013 floods.
Citrus Australia Market Access Manager David Daniels said demand from Asia has been particularly good for the last couple of seasons and China had really started to perform.
“Top 5 markets for Queensland mandarins are China, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.” Mr. Daniels said.
Seasonal data from Citrus Australia reflects a continued upward trend in citrus exports with ABS figures showing exports from Queensland in 2015-16 valued at $48.4 Million, up 68 % from $28.8 Million the previous financial year.
Other Queensland crops with surging exports are chickpeas, up 43 % from $635 Million to $911 Million in 2016; and cotton which is up 67 % from $439 Million to $734 Million.
CHAFTA (China-Australia Free Trade Agreement)
ABS (Australian Bureau Of Statistics)