Fresh vegetable imports remain relatively small compared to other categories of imports. Imports of fresh vegetables fell in value in 2013 14 to $70 million. China has been the major source country for fresh vegetables since 2008-09. Mexico continued to remain Australia’s second largest source of fresh vegetable imports, followed by New Zealand.
Fresh vegetable imports from particular countries tend to be vegetable specific with garlic from China, capsicums and tomatoes from New Zealand, onions from the United States, garlic and asparagus from Mexico, and asparagus from Peru. China, New Zealand and Mexico make up the majority of the fresh import market, with a share of 60%. Fresh vegetable imports from the United States have fallen considerably from $12 million in 2011-12 to under $5 million in 2013-14.
The value of frozen vegetable imports moved upwards in 2013-14 up 12% to $256 million. Frozen vegetable are now the second largest import category. New Zealand remains the principal source of frozen vegetable imports with a market share of 52% in 2013-14. Frozen imports from New Zealand in 2012-13 were up 21% to $134 million. Frozen imports from 12 out of the top 15 importing countries increased, with falls only occurring for Netherland’s Canada and Turkey.
Processed vegetable import values rose by 19% to $309 million in 2013 14. Italy and China remain the leading sources of processed vegetable imports, a similar ranking for most of this century. Processed vegetable imports from Italy increased by 34% ($27 million) to $107 million in 2013-14. New Zealand remained the third largest importing destination at $34 million or a 6% increase from 2012-13. Processed vegetable imports increased for all of the top 15 countries from which Australia imports processed vegetables, with the United States being the only exception.
The value of other vegetable imports rose 7% in 2013-14. China remained the principal source country in 2012-13 occupying 21% of the market share. Imports were up from the United States by 26%, New Zealand by 89% and an immense 141% from Italy.
In summary, vegetable imports increased considerably in 2013-14, up 12% on 2012-13. This upward trend in vegetable imports over the last decade is likely to continue. New Zealand and Italy remain the leading sources of Australia’s vegetable imports. The notable features of 2012-13 were the sustained increase in vegetable imports from both New Zealand and Italy; the significant increase of processed imports from Italy.
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