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  • Australian almond market continues to grow

    Nov 21st, 2016

    Despite ongoing commentary to the contrary, speakers at the Australian Almond Conference recently debunked the idea that Australia almond producers have overestimated local and global demand for their nuts.Leading international US fresh produce analyst, Vernon Crowder, told The Weekly Times that Australia was enjoying stable prices based on record US production as the Californian drought began to break.“I don’t think Australian growers have overestimated the growth of the industry,” Mr Crowder said. “Based upon even my conservative projection of almond growth, and the Almond Board of Australia numbers, by 2020 California will produce about 83 per cent of the world’s almonds (up from 80 per cent) and Australia will produce 8.5 per cent (up from 7 per cent).“I don’t think this growth is going to shake up the market.”

    Australian growers received record prices in recent years as the Californian drought cut US production.During this time, Australia overtook Spain as the world’s second biggest almond producer, as new plantings from big Riverina companies, such as Select Harvests and Olam, came into bearing.Mr Crowder said the global industry needed to sustain growth to service the global demand for almonds.“The real growth is coming from growth in ingredients in US and Europe, as well as nuts in shell in India and China.“Culturally, they prefer nuts in the shell, and that’s driving a lot of demand.“The Australian market has grown consistently over the past 10 years, and Australian per capita consumption is one of the highest in the world, surpassing the US.“A lot of that is to do with consumers’ realisation of the health benefits of almonds, as well as the use of almonds in manufactured products.”