Aus­tralian fry im­port growth con­tin­ues in March

The Aus­tralian mar­ket, which is im­por­tant for New Zealand fry ex­ports, is grow­ing at more than 10% a year, with an­nual ship­ments at 134 113 tonnes in the year end­ing March 2018 – the high­est vol­ume since the year end­ing Septem­ber 2015.

NZ Grower - - Product Groups -

March im­ports were up 13.7% to 12 303 tonnes. The av­er­age price of im­ports in March was Au$1 195/tonne, 2.4% higher than in March 2018. The cur­rent ex­change rate is US$1=Au$1.33 or US$1=Au$1.59.

Im­ports from New Zealand were 22.8% higher in the year end­ing March 2018 than the pre­vi­ous 12 months at 51 587 tonnes, with March trade 9.4% higher at 4 723 tonnes. The av­er­age price of New Zealand fry im­ports to Aus­tralia was Au$1 205/tonne, 14.1% higher than in March 2017.

Euro­pean sup­pli­ers con­tinue to make sig­nif­i­cant gains in the Aus­tralian mar­ket. The Nether­lands is the low­est priced sup­plier in the mar­ket, with av­er­age prices at Au$1 034/tonne in March, 13.5% lower than the over­all av­er­age price. Dutch im­ports have in­creased by 18.9% to 41 876 tonnes over the year and were at 4 259 tonnes in March, 31.9% higher than in March 2017. Bel­gian im­ports were 21.0% higher in the year end­ing March at 14 380 tonnes, with March trade 60.6% higher at 1 566 tonnes. In con­trast, US im­ports were down 24.3% to 22 675 tonnes over the year and by 28.5% to 1 508 tonnes in the month it­self. While the New Zealand dol­lar is tightly con­strained against the Aus­tralian dol­lar, be­cause of the im­por­tance of trade be­tween the two coun­tries, the Aus­tralian cur­rency has this year weak­ened in value against the Euro, mak­ing Euro zone fries more ex­pen­sive. It has also weak­ened against the US dol­lar, but in this case it has only re­turned val­ues to the lev­els pre­vail­ing at this time last year.

Re­pro­duced with per­mis­sion from World Potato Mar­kets is­sue 361, April 3, 2018

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