Strong global growth in Australian kernel sales
There is continued expectation of limited macadamia production growth globally for 2019. While a modest increase of up to 5% overall was initially anticipated, this has been tempered by reports of weather impacting production in several growing regions. A firmer estimate will be available in the coming months.
The initial 2019 Australian macadamia crop forecast of 49,900 tonnes (in-shell at 3.5% moisture) may be affected by the long wet weather period currently being experienced. The extended dry period over summer may also impact yields.
Demand for raw macadamia kernel from key markets rose again in the 12 months to March 2019, with imports (and Australian sales) up almost 5,000 tonnes or 20% over the prior year and representing more than 26,000 tonnes overall.
Macadamia kernel imports to the USA and Europe accounted for the majority of increased demand, with imports up 3,800 tonnes, demonstrating strong growth of 21% and 36% respectively. Kernel sales to Australia and imports to Japan accounted for the balance of just over 1,000 tonnes, growing 14% and 24% respectively.
Australian kernel sales grew significantly in the 12 months to March 2019, up 29% overall, or 2,750 tonnes.
Kernel sales to the domestic market exceeded 4,000 tonnes over a 12-month period for the first time, up 500 tonnes on the previous 12 months. Kernel sales to the USA and Japan grew by 37% and overall sales to Asia were strong, accounting for an incremental 1,200 tonnes kernel sales.
Kernel sales to Europe grew 600 tonnes in the 12 months to March 2019 and the emergence of markets beyond Germany is becoming more pronounced, now representing almost 60% of sales compared with 40% in 2015.
Reflecting Australia’s focus and marketing efforts on kernel sales, Australian in shell sales fell by 3,300 tonnes in the last 12 months.