Imports – Country of Origin

Analysis from 2013-14 on Australia's vegetable imports by country of origin.

Fresh vegetable imports remained relatively small compared to other categories of imports. Imports of fresh vegetables fell in value in 2013-14, down to $70 million. China continued to be the major source country for fresh vegetables, following the trend set since 2008-09. Mexico remained Australia’s second largest source of fresh vegetable imports, followed by New Zealand.

Fresh vegetable imports from particular countries tended to be vegetable-specific with garlic from China, capsicums and tomatoes from New Zealand, onions from the United States, garlic and asparagus from Mexico, and asparagus from Peru. China, New Zealand and Mexico made up the majority of the fresh import market, with a share of 60%. Fresh vegetable imports from the United States fell considerably from $12 million in 2011-12 to under $5 million in 2013-14.

The value of frozen vegetable imports moved upwards in 2013-14, increasing by 12% to $256 million, making them the second largest import category. New Zealand remained the principal source of frozen vegetable imports with a market share of 52% in 2013-14. Frozen imports from New Zealand in 2012-13 were up 21% to $134 million. Frozen imports from 12 out of the top 15 importing countries increased, with falls only occurring for Netherland’s Canada and Turkey.

Processed vegetable import values rose by 19% to $309 million in 2013-14. Italy and China remained the leading sources of processed vegetable imports, a similar ranking for most of this century. Processed vegetable imports from Italy increased by 34% ($27 million) to $107 million in 2013-14. New Zealand remained the third largest importing destination at $34 million (a 6% increase from 2012-13). Processed vegetable imports increased for all of the top 15 countries from which Australia imported processed vegetables, with the United States being the only exception.

The value of other vegetable imports rose 7% in 2013-14. China remained the principal source country in 2012-13 occupying 21% of the market share. Imports were up from the United States (by 26%), New Zealand (by 89%) and from Italy (an immense 141%).

In summary, vegetable imports increased considerably in 2013-14, up 12% on 2012-13. New Zealand and Italy remained the leading sources of Australia’s vegetable imports. The notable features of 2012-13 were the sustained increase in vegetable imports from both New Zealand and Italy, and the significant increase of processed imports from Italy.

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Economic activities in the vegetable industry are funded by Hort Innovation, using the vegetable research and development levy and contributions from the Australian Government. Hort Innovation is the grower-owned, not-for-profit research and development corporation for Australian horticulture.