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Australian orange growers benefit from fungicide fears

Friday January 13 2012

CITRUS growers in Australia are expecting their orange exports to the US to increase following fears over fungicide in Brazilian fruit.

Coca Cola recently alerted the US Food and Drug Administration about low levels of a fungicide in Brazilian orange juice concentrate (FOODNEWS 13 January) this week. As a result, the US has temporarily halted all imported juice as it tests for traces of the chemical.

According to Australia's ABC, the New South Wales Riverina grows nearly 30% of Australia's citrus fruit, producing about 180 000 tonnes annually.

Bart Brighenti, president of the Griffith and District Citrus Growers Association, said producers were well placed to benefit if the US suspends trade with Brazil.

"Given the timing that we are coming into a Valencia crop so it would only be southern hemisphere," he says.

"Realistically there is not much fruit grown on a world scale in many places, it should be a hard hole to fill and hopefully Australia should be there to fill it."

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