AgMemo - Horticulture news, September 2017

Page last updated: Thursday, 14 September 2017 - 3:54pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

A snapshot of some of the latest news and seasonal advice from the department for Western Australian farm businesses in the horticulture sector.

Select articles of interest to you from the right hand menu of this page or view the main AgMemo newsletter.

Western Australia lead exporter of fresh vegetables

Western Australia’s horticulture industries are well positioned to capture the growing demand and opportunities in the overseas market.

However, understanding the strength and weakness of each industry and addressing the issues is important in capitalising on this opportunity.

A new report – Horticulture exports: where we can make a difference, released by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, has analysed major vegetable, fruit and wine industries on different indicators and ranked them.

Some fast facts from the report:

  • WA is the leading exporter of fresh vegetables from Australia, with a share of 35%.
  • Vegetables are about 50% of the total horticulture exports from WA.
  • The value of WA vegetable exports has grown by 49% between 2013 and 2016.
  • WA received a global price premium for all major vegetable exports.
  • China is the major competitor for WA vegetable exports intended for human consumption.
  • Australia has a reasonable share in WA’s major export markets for most of the analysed vegetables, except for potato other than seed.
  • Carrots are the major vegetable exported from WA.

A few highlights on the major vegetable industries are provided below.


  • Carrots are the major vegetable export from WA, with a share of 81% of the total vegetable exports by value.
  • WA carrot production was 120 000 tonnes in 2015-16. Of this, 71% was exported, 12% was sent to the eastern states and 17% was consumed in WA. (Data source: Fresh logic).
  • WA sent carrots to more than 20 destinations, with UAE (32%), Saudi Arabia (15%) and Malaysia (15%) the top three destinations by value. (Data source: Global Trade Atlas).
  • Real value (after accounting for inflation) of carrot exports has increased by 39% between 2013 and 2016.
  • The industry is horizontally integrated, with the top ten growers forming 91% of the industry.
  • Carrots have the lowest unit value of vegetable exports.
  • The industry will benefit from expanding the supply base and by identifying value adding opportunities.

Potatoes (excluding seed potatoes)

  • They are the third largest vegetable export after carrots and truffles.
  • Singapore is our major destination market, where Australia has a share of only 10% of the total imports.
  • Domestic and export prices are comparable.
  • Globally, ware potatoes have the lowest growth in imports among the analysed vegetables.
  • WA does not have access to South Korea which is the major destination for Australian potatoes. Therefore, the industry may benefit from resolving the market access issues to South Korea and expanding the market destinations.


  • Celery is the fourth major vegetable exported from WA.
  • Exported product received a premium; the domestic wholesale price was 75% less than the export price received in 2016. 
  • Celery is not a heavily imported vegetable globally, even though there is good growth in imports.
  • WA has a share of 37% in celery exports nationally, second only to Victoria.
  • The industry is highly horizontally integrated with the top 10% of growers forming 99% of the industry.
  • The UAE was a premium Australian destination where export price was $3.29 per kg in 2016. However this is not a destination for WA celeries.
  • Average export price of WA produce was $1.3/kg in 2016, with Malaysia the prime destination.
  • WA may benefit from diversifying the export markets to include high-value markets, and by focusing on the premium segment of the existing markets.

Cauliflower and broccoli

  • Good growth in cauliflower and broccoli exports during the past three years. 
  • Reasonable growth in global imports due to less market access issues prevailing.
  • WA is not a major exporter on the national front, with a share of only 6%.
  • Singapore was the major export destination in 2016.

Access the full report at WA horticulture exports - where we can make a difference.

For more information contact Manju Radhakrishnan, Research Officer, South Perth on +61 (0)8 9368 3069.