Sweet corn production has increased by around five per cent since 2010-11, despite the number of growers decreasing in the same time period, according to the latest ‘Veggie Stats’ figures.

The figures reveal that, despite sweet corn production increasing from 70,808 tonnes in 2010-11 to 74,483 tonnes in 2013-14, the gross value of the sweet corn industry has marginally decreased over the same time period. ABS data has also illustrated that the number of sweet corn growers has decreased by 38 per cent since 2010-11.

“Sweet corn production has increased over the last few years despite the decrease in the number of growers in the sweet corn industry,” said AUSVEG Economist Steve Razdan.

“This indicates that the sweet corn industry is following a similar trend to other vegetable commodities and transitioning to a situation where a smaller number of larger growers produce a larger proportion of sweet corn.”

“This situation may still potentially benefit remaining sweet corn growers as overall profits are being shared between fewer growers, despite the overall value of the industry decreasing marginally.”

AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing more than 9,000 Australian vegetable and potato growers.

There is also good news for growers looking to develop markets, with frozen sweet corn exports valued at over $2.5 million, having grown more than five-fold since 2009-10.

“Sweet corn exports, particularly frozen exports to Japan, have given sweet corn growers an additional market for their produce. The rapid rise of exports to this region shows a strong sign that growers can increase their production even more into the future, thereby increasing the value of the industry,” said Mr Razdan.
“Since 2012-13 alone, the export value of frozen sweet corn has increased by 84 per cent, with Japan accounting for 94 per cent of the total value of exports.”

“We are finding that some Asian markets are increasing their demand for Australian vegetables, such as sweet corn, with larger growers able to meet this demand.”

“Recent Free Trade Agreements are also an important step to potentially increase vegetable exports, and we encourage all growers capitalise on the increasing demand for clean, green and safe Australian vegetables.”

“The knowledge gained through Veggie Stats, including export opportunities for Australian vegetable growers, has further cemented the importance of industry research and development projects that might enable growers to improve their bottom line.”

AUSVEG has developed a series of Veggie Stats documents to profile different commodities. Veggie Stats studies are currently being featured in each issue of the industry magazine, Vegetables Australia, with sweet corn featuring in the latest edition.

Veggie Stats uses data compiled from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) and the Global Trade Atlas. The research has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.

:  Steve Razdan, AUSVEG Economist
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0404 097 118, Email: steve.razdan@ausveg.com.au