The 2019 Australian macadamia crop is forecast to reach 42,900 tonnes in-shell at 3.5% moisture (46,000 tonnes at 10% moisture) – announced the industry’s peak body, the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS).
The forecast is lower than original expectations of 49,900 tonnes at 3.5% moisture, with the crop impacted by an unusually long, hot and dry summer. As reported in the March (2019) forecast, these conditions have the potential to impact nut size, and this has proven to be the case, with the current season’s harvest producing a smaller sized nut.
AMS CEO Jolyon Burnett said the conditions experienced during the summer represent a highly unusual weather event.
“In addition to the very hot temperatures, we experienced abnormally low rainfall and humidity across all major growing regions. Like any horticultural crop, we are susceptible to weather and unfortunately some years it disrupts the best laid plans,” said Mr Burnett.
The lower crop will impact kernel available to the market and inventory levels are expected to be low at the end of the season.
Mr Burnett said the Australian industry is exploring the adoption of new measures in response to this atypical situation.
“We can’t control the weather, however, should these conditions arise again in the future, we want to be able to identify the impact much earlier in the forecasting process. We’re examining new measures to achieve this,” said Mr Burnett.
The Australian macadamia crop has been growing steadily since 2014, and Mr Burnett says overall demand remains strong, with keen interest generated by the implementation of the Innovation Initiative – the industry’s international marketing strategy.
“Our industry continues to invest in supporting the food sector in the marketing of macadamias, and investment in new plantings is continuing to expand,” said Mr Burnett.
This Australian macadamia crop estimate is provided by the Australian Macadamia Society based on actual factory receipts of the Australian Macadamia Handlers Association (AMHA) until end of June (2019). The AMHA represent over 90% of all macadamia handlers.
A further crop report will be provided in September 2019, and the final figure for the 2019 crop will be announced by the AMS in early December (2019).