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. Dandaragan-based AGRIFresh director Daniel Ying has stated that domestic citrus prices were down last year. China’s taste for Australian fruit hasn’t waned, but getting products onto shelves is proving tough. AGRIFresh, 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.
Ying said domestic prices were down last year with the WA market was awash with fruit from the eastern states. This season there was a lot of international pressure – especially with the relationship between China and Australia – which has put a lot of pressure on the domestic market. We’re not seeing a lot of containers exported to China this year compared to previous years. 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. It’s not that China doesn’t want Australian citrus, it’s more the delay, the logistics part of getting it to the consumer. There has been a lot of hold-ups at ports, which does not help to move the product from the farm to the consumer, especially when it’s already been on the water for so many days.
Over the last 13 months, China curbed Australian beef imports and levied tariffs totalling 80 per cent on barley and over 200 per cent on wine imports. The costs to Australia’s bottom line have been real: Exports to China fell by approximately $2.3 billion in U.S. dollars in 2020, according to the officials at the bureau.