Banner Image
Lychee Exporters now Reach U.S. Markets

Lychee Exporters now Reach U.S. Markets


Lychee Exporters now Reach U.S. Markets

Article by: Hari Yellina (Orchard Tech)

The lychee industry in Australia has weathered the COVID-19 storm thanks to continued interest from US markets. Meanwhile, the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) of the Australian government has aided in the maintenance of trans-Pacific supply networks.

Derek Foley, President of the Australian Lychee Growers Association, reports in this case study:

  • strong demand for lychees from North America
  • how IFAM kept airfreight lanes open to existing markets.

In Australia, there are about 250 lychee growers. From Cooktown in far north Queensland to Coffs Harbour in New South Wales, farms can be found. Premium Australian lychees are popular in international markets due to their great quality. Global demand is also influenced by reliable supply. The longest production season in the world is in Australia. Between October and March, it runs for six months. The lychee industry in Australia is expected to expand. New plantings are expected to boost productivity and exports by up to 20%. ‘For a period of years, the business has had pretty healthy prices,’ adds Foley. ‘This has enticed novices to enter the industry.’

Formerly relying on the Hong Kong and Chinese markets for the majority of their product, Australian lychee growers are now focusing on their existing US connections. Exporters of the subtropical fruit have been able to match their operating models to alternate supply networks due to the pandemic’s consistent interest from the US market. ‘We’ve only been exporting to the United States for about five years, but interest has remained high,’ Foley adds. ‘It’s a tremendously strong market right now.’ Australian lychees are also shipped to New Zealand, Singapore, and Canada, according to Foley. Growers of lychees are in a thorny situation because flights have been halted. The IFAM initiative was created to re-establish airlinks for the transportation of perishable items of high value.

When the IFAM programme was implemented, it alleviated some of the pressure associated with shifting our product,’ he adds. We have been able to keep connected to our worldwide markets thanks to the IFAM programme.’ Dan Tehan, Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, said IFAM has ensured the aviation sector was supported during the COVID-19 pandemic, preserving Australia’s reputation as a trustworthy global trading partner. Minister Tehan explained, “IFAM was launched to give Australian businesses reliant on airfreight time to adapt to a new, harder international trade environment.”