As the macadamia season on the Sunshine Coast and in Gympie draws to a close, this year’s forecast harvest in Australia has been revised down.
The Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) has recalculated its 2023 forecast harvest from 53-thousand tonnes in-shell to 48-and-a-half thousand tonnes.
Society CEO Clare Hamilton-Bate said “the softest farm gate prices in more than a decade have had a significant impact on growers, with many rationalising on-farm expenditure, including making tough decisions about harvesting and orchard management practices.”
Some growers have chosen not to harvest.
An increasing number of growers in countries like South Africa is also having an impact on global supply and prices.
“The atypical factors influencing this season’s harvest are making crop modelling and forecasting more complex than usual,” Ms Hamilton-Bate said.
Also of note is the expected increase in the amount of crop exported as nut-in-shell.
“The portion of the crop sold as nut-in-shell could double this year to 60 percent, and this has implications for kernel availability,” she said.
On the plus side, kernel quality is excellent with lower reject levels and a higher proportion of premium grade than in previous years, and demand for Australian macadamias remains strong.”
The final figure for the 2023 Australian macadamia crop will be announced by the AMS in early December.
The 2023 crop forecast is based on actual factory receipts of the Australian Macadamia Handlers Association and consultation with other supply chain partners.
Bundaberg is Australia’s biggest macadamia growing area followed by Northern Rivers in New South Wales and the Sunshine Coast and Gympie.