Macadamias: Australia cuts estimates
After weeks of speculations over the extent of damage caused by floods and extreme weather conditions, the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) has now issued revised production estimates. Production will range 10% lower than initially anticipated. Although harvesting is extremely difficult, there is also some good news.
Farmers unable to start harvesting
Due to recent severe weather conditions and flooding in New South Wales and South East Queensland AMS is now reckoning with an inshell production of 49,340 mt for macadamia with 3.5% moisture and 52,900 mt for macadamias with 10% moisture. Initial estimates ranged at 54,930 mt for macadamias with 3.5 moisture and at 58,9000 mt for macadamias with 10% moisture. To make matters worse, prolonged rain followed the two flooding events witnessed in New South Wales in March. This has made harvesting extremely difficult. According to AMS CEO the growers in the Northern Rivers and Nambucca have still not been able to access their orchard to begin harvest. Wet and overgrown grounds coupled with a lack of hot sunny days also prevent the nuts lying on the ground from drying. "The severe weather conditions have also impacted kernel recovery," meaning that the availability of kernels will be limited as Burnett adds.(mundus-agri)
However, the good news is that although some areas in New South Wales suffered extensive losses, yields are up, and quality is generally good throughout Queensland. Bundaberg, which accounts for as much as 46% of Australia's macadamia production, has not been impacted by severe weather conditions, and harvesting is well underway here. The spot market prices for Australian macadamias are relatively firm in Europe. (mundus-agri)