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Fewer peach imports likely

Fierce competition in the canned-fruit industry which almost brought Goulburn Valley food processing to its knees has gone into remission because of a global peach shortage.

March 25, 2014 4:05am

Fierce competition in the canned-fruit industry that almost brought Goulburn Valley food processing to its knees has gone into remission because of a global peach shortage.

Fruit Growers Victoria general manager John Wilson said worldwide there was a 30 per cent under-supply of canned peaches.

‘‘The fruit is not going to be available to attack SPC’s domestic market over the next year,’’ Mr Wilson said.

‘‘The conditions that built SPC’s dramatic loss of market share have reversed over the next year.’’

Mr Wilson made the comments after returning from the 12th World Processed Deciduous Fruit Conference in South Africa.

Driving the shortage was the failure of the Argentine canned peach crop, which was pushing prices in the country to $900/tonne, Mr Wilson said.

‘‘In Argentina, they’ve paid what is a ridiculous price, which is fantastic for growers, of $900 a tonne for peaches in the last year,’’ he said.

‘‘They lost 80 per cent of their crop.’’

It is unlikely SPC Ardmona would be in a position to begin exporting following a year where it terminated contracts and scaled back its intake.

Mr Wilson said 10 suppliers were reinstated late last year after SPC Ardmona struck a deal to supply Coles’ private label canned fruit.

However, he said export opportunities did exist.

‘‘As long as SPC can get the fruit from the growers, there is an export opportunity this coming year,’’ Mr Wilson said.

‘‘SPC has signalled a reduction in production, that would mean they’re not going to have the fruit.’’

Jarrod Whittaker

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