Banner Image
Macadamias Production and Growth in Australia (2020)

Macadamias Production and Growth in Australia (2020)

2021-06-24

Overview

Native to Australia, macadamia trees are only found naturally in southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. The Hawaiian macadamia industry was grown from one cultivar from Australia that was repeatedly cloned. Recently, new research into macadamias has revealed the world’s dominant commercial cultivar, which is grown in Hawaii, originated from a single tree in southern Queensland from the 19th century. This means the commercial macadamia tree has an incredibly low genetic diversity, and researchers hope their findings will spur the discovery of wild trees and more “novel genes”. Despite being found in a narrow band of subtropical rainforest, Australia’s native macadamia had a rich diversity compared with the commercial crops.

Statistics of Macadamias

The macadamia industry is known to have a strong export market globally. It exports up to 79% of its total production.

As of June 2020:

  1. 45,200 tonnes of macadamias (in-shell weight at 3.5% moisture) was produced with a kernel equivalent yield of 14,916 tonnes.
  2. The value of production was worth $245.1 million while the wholesale value of macadamias in-shell and kernel supply was $115.3 million.
  3. 19% of Australian households purchased macadamias, buying an average of 249 grams per shopping trip.
  4. The supply per capita of in-shell and kernel macadamias was 188 grams, based on the volume supplied.

Production Areas

Macadamia is predominantly grown in northern New South Wales and Bundaberg. Nevertheless, these nuts are also produced in the Northern Rivers as well.

Climate Change and Macadamias

There’s a huge amount of climate change happening, there is clearing happening, and about 90% of the wild population is on private property. It’s really important to identify where there are unique genes in the wild and prioritise those populations for conservation. Macadamias are only a few generations from the wild. They have not gone through as many cycles of selection as, for example, apples.