Australia’s horticulture industry continuously booms, significantly contributing to the country’s economy. It is critical to produce healthy and fresh products, such as fruits, nuts and vegetables, domestically and globally.
According to the recent data released by Hort Innovation, the value of Australia’s horticulture industry has rocketed to A$6.15bn in the last decade.
The Horticulture Statistics Handbook’s latest edition, crafted by Freshlogic on behalf of Hort Innovation, includes this new information and data on 75 various horticulture categories, such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and green life.
Let us delve into Australia’s horticulture statistics and get a significant glimpse of various records and facts about producing fruits, vegetables, nuts and other crops.
Such information can help us understand how the horticulture industry affects the country and its people in various ways.
Australian Horticulture Industry Stats and Facts
The Australian horticulture industry expects its production gross value to increase to $17.6 billion by 2023-24. Higher production also means a rise in exports by 9% to $3.7 billion.
These significant forecasts urge the industry to strive more despite drier weather conditions. The projected onset of El Niño in 2023-24 may result in drier conditions over Australia, especially in Eastern Australia.
Drier weather may increase water prices. However, historically, the currently observed low water prices and high water storage levels will likely lessen the impact on water costs.
According to ABARES’ latest Water Market Outlook, average water allocation costs are predicted to continue far below recent highs under the likely average scenario. Low water prices will continue to benefit horticulture production.
Moreover, labour availability improvements and higher expected demand from foreign markets drive the increase in production volumes throughout 2023-24.
The country’s horticulture industry is a lively and essential aspect of its agricultural sector. It includes a wide variety of crops, significantly contributing to the volume and value of production.
Knowing Australia’s fruits, nuts, and vegetable statistics for 2023, which are essential figures and facts of the horticultural industry, allows us to be aware of such important information.
Here’s a closer look at horticulture statistics in Australia for more insights:
Australia has a diverse range of fruits cultivated across the country. According to the Horticulture Statistics Handbook 2021/22, total fruit production of 307,630t is valued at $5,521.9M in the year ending June 2022.
- In 2021-22, Australia exported 3,141 tonnes of apples.
- Mango volumes rose to 10% over the previous year, resulting in the highest production value of $217.9M.
- Australia’s total avocado production was 122,197t worth $363.8M, with an importation of 12,640 tonnes and exportation of 11,611 tonnes.
- Total banana production ending June 202 was 374,033t and valued at $501.6M
- For the past years, the berry sector, including blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, has rapidly expanded.
- 55% of Australian homes purchased blueberries, with an average of 160g bought every shopping trip.
- Fresh strawberries’ production of 68,311t was valued at $416.8M in the year ending June 2022.
- From 2021–2022, the value of several fruit categories significantly increased, including nectarines/peaches ($8M), watermelons ($27M), mangoes ($17M), mandarins ($14M), lychees ($10M), and table grapes ($90M).
Australia is also well-known for producing high-quality nuts, especially almonds and macadamias. The following are some significant figures from the nut industry:
- Total nut production in 2021-22 was 287,079t (in-shell) and 176,993t (kernel) valued at $1,387.5M
- The cracking process caters to 65% of nut production (in shell)
- Chestnut sales accounted for 16% of all Australian household purchases, with 290g being the average amount per shopping trip.
- Australia is the world’s second-largest producer of almonds, with production reaching 1 205,436t (in-shell) and 143,805t (kernel) worth $916M.
- The country accounts for around 30% of the world’s supply of macadamia nuts, making it the largest producer globally. Australia exported 11,426 tonnes of macadamias in shell and 9,941 tonnes of macadamia kernel in 2021-22.
- Australia imports hazelnuts, with the majority being in kernel form. The country is a net importer of this variety of nuts, importing 3,170 tonnes of kernel hazelnuts while exporting 1 tonne each of kernel and in-shell hazelnuts.
Vegetable farming is one of the most significant horticulture sectors in Australia. It is diverse and productive, with a yearly production of 3.4 million tonnes worth 2.2 billion dollars.
New South Wales (NSW) grows 15% of all Australian produce, supplying the fresh and processing markets. 60% of vegetables produced in Australia are grown for the fresh market and sold domestically.
There are two major research centres established by the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) focusing on vegetable research.
These facilities are The National Vegetable Industry Centre at Yanco Agricultural Institute in the Riverina and the National Centre for Greenhouse Horticulture on the central coast at Gosford Horticultural Institute.
The NSW DPI workers take initiatives in exploring pest and disease management, comprehensive pest management, irrigation, and variety evaluation.
Here are some relevant figures and information on vegetable horticulture in Australia:
- Despite a slight drop in output from the previous year, vegetable production values hit an all-time high of $5.54B in 2021/22.
- Australia widely cultivates potatoes, making them one of the most extensively grown vegetables in the country, with over 1,462,065t produced in 2021/22.
- In 2021-22, Australia produced around 436,907t of tomatoes worth $645.1M
- Beans had the largest yearly production value growth rate of any vegetable, increasing 64% in 2021/22 and reaching a high of $134.4M.
- Bean purchases comprised 44% of household spending in Australia, with each store trip averaging 509g.
- Onions’ production value of onions hit $249M, setting new records.
- Total asparagus production was 7,368t valued at $77.9M.
- Australia imports more broccoli and cauliflower than exports. In 2021-201, Australia exported 1,873 tonnes of these vegetables.
- Another significant vegetable crop in Australia is the carrot, with production reaching 306,394t valued at $247.9M in 2021/22.
- There are three primary farming systems used to produce cucumbers in Australia. These systems and their contributions to production are conventional – 44%, poly houses and tunnels – 42% and glasshouses – 14%.
- Production volumes of leafy salad vegetables increased by 5.3 per cent in 2021/22. This was the most abundant year for fresh green salad veggies.
- The vegetable category had value gains across the board, with leafy salad vegetables increasing by 19% (+$94.2M) and tomatoes rising by 15% (+$83M).
Other Horticulture Areas
Aside from fruits, nuts, and vegetables, the Australian horticulture industry includes other fields contributing to the country’s agricultural diversity and economic prosperity.
Let us look into some relevant data and facts concerning other horticultural areas in Australia:
- The production value of other horticulture areas was $3.45B
- The fresh supply’s wholesale value was $3.71 billion.
- Australia’s cut flower and decorative plant sector, which serves domestic and foreign markets, is estimated to be worth $740 million.
- In 2021/22, Australia’s cut flowers importation was worth $104.6 million, with $9.5 million in exports.
In 2021-22, a reduction of some fresh fruits and vegetables supply due to severe floods in Queensland and New South Wales’s major horticultural regions led to increased domestic prices.
However, the flooding’s impact on production has reduced, resulting in moderated price growth.
According to quarterly figures for June 2023, year-end fruit and vegetable inflation is at 1.6%. This figure roughly matches the 1.4% average quarterly inflation growth of the pre-pandemic year-end.
A review of the Horticulture Statistics Handbook conducted in 2012/13 demonstrates growth in both horticulture production volumes and values.
In 2023-24, there is a projected increase in the global demand for horticulture goods. However, it is also expected that global supply growth will outstrip it.
Increasing populations and real incomes in some emerging economies will promote demand growth. Yet, persistently high inflation in many developed nations will weigh on consumer real incomes, partially offsetting this increase.
The Australian horticulture industry plays a major role in the overall productivity and prosperity of the country. It significantly showcased Australia’s capacity to produce premium fruits, nuts, vegetables and other horticultural goods.
As we’ve learned about the relevant horticulture statistics in Australia, it is clear that this industry supports the economy and provides fresh and nutritious produce to the entire population.
The industry has defied many odds to achieve an upswing in value and is now ready to welcome significant growth in the years ahead.
With the support and collaboration of the government, related organisations, industries, investors, producers and consumers, Australia’s horticultural sector can go a long way in reaching its projected production and value.