One of Western Australia’s largest citrus producers says it has been unable to send its fruit to China due to hold-ups at Chinese ports.
- Delays at Chinese ports are holding up exports of new season Australian citrus
- AGRIFresh says the domestic market is oversupplied with citrus
- Its 2021 citrus harvest has commenced with 7,000 tonnes expected
Dandaragan-based AGRIFresh director Daniel Ying said domestic prices were down on last year with the WA market was awash with fruit from the eastern states.
“This season, I think, with a lot of international pressures – especially with the relationship between China and Australia – has put a lot of pressure on the domestic market,” he said.
“With that, a lot of the early season fruit from the eastern states is coming and landing in the WA market.”
While demand remains strong from Japan and the Middle East, Mr Ying says the industry has been left without one of its most important buyers.
“I don’t think it’s that China doesn’t want Australian citrus,” he said.
“From what I hear, there’s been a lot of hold-ups at ports, which doesn’t help moving product from the farm to the consumer, especially when it’s already been on the water for so many days.”
Mr Ying said the industry wanted to keep supplying to China.
“They do pay a premium for our product and do consume a lot of Australian citrus,” he said.
“We’ve seen that in the past years where consumption has increased in demand has increased in a large way.
AGRIFresh has started picking its 2021 crop of about 7,000 tonnes of citrus, which is its largest harvest so far.