Wednesday, April 07, 2010

No macadamia bumper crop this year

Most affected orchards have shown some recovery from the significant tree and limb loss experienced in May 2009. However hot, dry and dusty conditions around flowering had a negative influence on the 2010 Australian macadamia crop.The industry forecasting model predicts a crop of 41,600 MT of nut in shell (NIS) or an equivalent of 12,220 MT of kernel according to the peak industry body for the Australian macadamia industry, the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS).The crop estimate comes from modelling developed over 7 years by the AMS and the Queensland Department of Employment Economic Development & Innovation. The model works on yield curves developed from historical records and incorporating tree number and age, varieties, climatic data for the growing season and pest and disease incidence.The model has 23 years data from which to estimate the crop and from 2001 to 2007 had an overall average error of 8.2%. With increasingly extreme weather conditions in 2008 and 2009 at the limits of the data set, the average error is now 12.4%The Australian Macadamia Handlers group who represent over 90% of NIS collected from growers in Australia, have stated that they believe the model prediction is at the very top end of expectations and the more likely crop size is 37,500t. This figure is based on surveys of their suppliers and on past delivery patterns and volumes.These figures are compiled by the AMS and the Handlers Group in the interests of providing the market with accurate, credible and timely production information.The AMS and the Handlers Group will update the crop estimates at the end of June and August once actual delivery figures become available in collaboration with participating processors. A final figure for the season will be released in December 2010.The unfavourable conditions at flowering affected the crop in the northern NSW and south east Queensland areas.“The most predominant variety in the industry had variable nut set between localities although some other varieties are not badly affected” said AMS CEO Jolyon Burnett. “The Bundaberg region was not affected by this problem”.Two seasons of short crop have had an impact on worldwide inventories according to Burnett and demand is strong despite a challenging exchange rate.

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