Record year for citrus pro­duc­ers

Bur­nett shares in ex­port spoils:

Central and North Burnett Times - - FENCE POST - Adam McCleery adam.mccleery@cnbtimes.com.au

THE wider Bur­nett had a record-break­ing citrus ex­port sea­son in 2016 thanks to grow­ing de­mand in for­eign mar­kets such as Asia and North Amer­ica – and pro­duc­ers hope to re­peat that re­sult this year.

Roth Citrus own­ers and op­er­a­tors Ken and Me­gan Roth have had to rely heav­ily on the ex­port mar­ket in their long-term re­cov­ery from the 2013 floods and have also started a new line of man­darin.

“It was a fan­tas­tic year for ex­port last year. Prices were good. We haven’t seen them that high for honey Mur­cott be­fore,” Mrs Roth said.

“We have just sent 16 pal­lets to Thai­land of a brand new man­darin – a PBR va­ri­ety, plant breeder’s rights, which means it’s our own va­ri­ety – and we grow them all to ex­port.

“It was a fan­tas­tic year for ex­port last year. Prices for honey Mur­cotts were the best we have seen them,” Mrs Roth said.

The new man­darin is from the Nova fam­ily and has al­ready pro­vided a host of ben­e­fits for the Roths.

“They are very firm so they will travel to for­eign mar­kets well and they come up with a nice, bright orange colour so they are good for the Asian mar­ket too,” Mrs Roth said.

“They are ready so much ear­lier than other va­ri­eties. No one else is grow­ing them be­cause we have a li­censed prod­uct.”

The Roths are still work­ing on a plan for roy­al­ties if other grow­ers choose to start grow­ing this new line.

“We had 20 grow­ers out here for an open day about it,” Mrs Roth said.

“I think it’s pretty ex­cit­ing, re­ally. There are ac­tu­ally very few Egyp­tian man­darins on the world mar­ket at the mo­ment and noth­ing this early.”

Mr Roth said ex­port was the linch­pin when it came to get­ting Roths Citrus back on its feet after the 2013 floods.

“I did it be­cause the do­mes­tic prices were ter­ri­ble for man­darins. Im­pe­ri­als were the worst prices we’ve ever seen,” Mr Roth said.

“More and more coun­tries in Asia are start­ing to take our fruit, places like the Philip­pines and In­dia.

“You have to have the ones that will carry the dis­tance.”

Mr Roth said Mur­cott man­darins were good for ex­port­ing.

“Low-seeded Mur­cott and nor­mal Mur­cott,” Mr Roth said.

“Any of the firmer man­darins. We ex­port No­vas, which we will have a lot of in a mo­ment. They like the easy-peel over­seas.”

The lat­est trade data from Citrus Aus­tralia showed Queens­land grow­ers shipped $67 mil­lion worth of fruit to over­seas con­sumers, a 30% in­crease on ex­ports from the pre­vi­ous sea­son.

❝ I (grew for ex­port) be­cause the do­mes­tic prices were ter­ri­ble for man­darins. Im­pe­ri­als were the worst prices we’ve ever seen.

— Ken Roth

PHOTO: ADAM MCCLEERY

STRONG MAR­KET: The strength of the 2016 ex­port sea­son has helped Ken Roth from Roth Citrus re­cover.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.