Almonds are the most consumed tree nut in the world
The Australian Almond industry is the fastest growing horticulture industry in Australia, currently producing around 7% of the world’s almonds. Australia is now the world’s second largest almond producer, surpassing Spain and leaving only the dominant Californian industry ahead of Australia.
Australia has the right conditions for growing almonds – a Mediterranean climate providing mild, wet winters and calm, hot and dry summers. Australia’s southern hemisphere crop is counter seasonal to the Californian almond industry, with our harvest being between February – April.
With the rest of world’s almond producers being in the Northern hemisphere, the timing of the Australian harvest means that our produce is available fresh to export markets, when all other produce is older than six months.
Australia exports high quality almonds to several destinations with key export markets being India, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. Australian Almonds’ export focus is on growing both their established markets in Europe, India and the Middle East, as well as growing their emerging markets of North East Asia – including China, Korea and Japan.
Almonds are one of Australia’s most valuable horticultural exports. In 2019 76,556 tonnes of almonds were exported with a sales value of over $772m. The Indian market grew by 23%, the UAE market by 35% and exports to Vietnam grew by 46%.
The export volume of Australian almonds grew from 60,894 tonnes in 2018/19 to 76,556 tonnes in 2019/20. A 15,662 tonne increase, with a growth rate of 26% over the previous year. The major feature of 2019/20 was the growth in exports to China, driven by the tariff advantage given to Australian almonds through the trade dispute between China and the USA. In 2018/19 over 12,000 tonnes of Australian almonds were exported to China and Hong Kong.
Diwali is the most significant Indian festival celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. Also known as the Festival of Light, Diwali has extravagant displays of light, fireworks, prayer and food. The tradition of gifting of almonds throughout Diwali, has increased the demand for the nut, with Australia exporting just over 18,000 tonnes of Almonds to India in 2017, a 23% increase from 2016.
The Californian crop size is the single most influential factor affecting the international market price for almonds. California’s supply dominance means that USA producers set the world price in $US per pound.
The price earned by Australian producers is largely governed by the world almond price and the $A / $US exchange rate. A strong Australian dollar delivers lower returns, whilst the weaker $A delivers better returns. (Once the $US price is converted).
The Australian dollar fell significantly during the 2019/20 year from above US$0.70 to mid US$0.60s. With farm inputs such as orchard machinery, fertiliser, pest and disease sprays produced overseas, costs increase with a weaker Australian dollar.
Your processing and marketing agent exports a significant proportion of its annual throughput to a wide range of countries. This helps to build the reputation of Australian quality production and increase International demand so that as Australian almond production rises, export markets are available. The market and demand for almond production is worldwide, particularly in emerging markets such as India and the Middle East.