Biosecurity Fact Sheet - Avocados from Chile

​​​​​​​​​Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, February 2019

The factsheet provides an overview of the risk analysis for fresh avocado fruit from Chile.​


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Key facts

  • We released the draft report for fresh avocado fruit from Chile on 28 February 2019, for public consultation.
  • Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft report during the 60 calendar day public consultation period, closing on 29 April 2019.
  • The final report will be published after consideration of comments on the draft report. We expect to publish the final report around late 2019.

Risk analysis for avocados from Chile

We initiated a risk analysis in response to a formal market access request for fresh avocado fruit to Australia from Chile. Avocado fruit is Chile’s highest horticultural priority for new market access.

Australia (as a World Trade Organization member) must meet its international obligations by assessing market access requests (import proposals) and developing the least trade restrictive and scientifically justified import conditions where required. Our trading partners use the same principles when assessing Australian market access requests.

Australia currently permits imports of fresh avocado fruit from New Zealand, provided they meet Australia’s biosecurity import conditions.

The draft report identifies seven quarantine pests associated with avocados from Chile that require risk management measures, in combination with operational systems, to achieve the appropriate level of protection for Australia. These pests are:

  • Fruit flies: Mediterranean fruit fly
  • Mealybugs: grape mealybug
  • Thrips: Chilean flower thrips, tamarugo thrips and western flower thrips
  • Mites: avocado brown mite and avocado red mite

The proposed risk management measures include:

  • for Mediterranean fruit fly: area freedom or fruit treatment (such as cold disinfestation treatment) for all cultivars; or hard condition of fruit for the Hass cultivar only
  • for mealybugs, mites and thrips: consignment freedom verified by pre-export visual inspection and, if detected, remedial action.

Process for a risk analysis

The objective of undertaking a risk analysis is to ensure that any fresh products imported into Australia are free from unwanted pests. The department initially identifies pests associated with fruit or vegetable production and export in the source country that are not present in Australia.

The assessment includes analysis of the potential pests of concern and recommends risk management measures if required. If there are no available risk management measures to effectively manage particular biosecurity risks, trade is not permitted until suitable measures are identified. As part of the risk analysis process, the department will also verify commercial production, packing and export practices in the source country.

How stakeholders can contribute

Stakeholders are invited to comment on the draft report during the public consultation period, which closes on 29 April 2019. Stakeholders can make their submission via the department’s website. The final report will be published after consideration of stakeholder comments.

Australia-Chile trade

Australia and Chile have a strong two-way trade relationship. Chile is Australia’s third largest trading partner in Latin America. In 2016, Australian goods exported to Chile were worth around $469 million. Over the same period, Chilean goods imported into Australia were worth around $533 million.

Avocado production in Chile

Chile is one of the largest producers of avocados in the world, producing around 215,000 tonnes in 2016-17 and exporting around 147,000 tonnes in 2016. Chile exports avocados to Argentina, China, the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Hass is the main cultivar exported from Chile and is expected to be the only cultivar exported to Australia.

Avocado production in Australia

Australian avocados are produced all year round, with production mainly in Queensland (March-September), northern New South Wales (July-October) and Western Australia (July-March). The main varieties produced are Hass and Shephard.

Australia imports avocados from New Zealand, mainly from September to March, which supplements the Australian supply during the spring/summer harvest season. In 2016-17, Australia imported 23,355 tonnes of avocados from New Zealand.

In both production and exports, Australia is currently a small player in the world avocado market. In 2017-18, Australia produced 77,032 tonnes of avocado, with exports accounting for 2.3 percent of production. Australia’s main avocado export markets are Malaysia and Singapore, accounting for over 80 per cent of avocado exports.1

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Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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