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Wednesday, 30 November 1960

Mr ADERMANN (FISHER, QUEENSLAND) (Minister for Primary Industry) - I am aware that in Malaya there is a shortage at present of citrus fruits, fresh vegetables and potatoes. The reason is that this is the off season and supplies are not readily available. Potatoes are just coming on to the market. Malaya is an important market for our apples and pears. Last year we exported 190,000 bushels of apples and 21,000 bushels of pears to Malaya. In addition, SO per cent, of our exports of grapes - 48,000 bushel cases - went to that market.

The honorable member has suggested that trade commissioners might be sent to Malaya to ascertain the market prospects. The citrus growers themselves have representatives there now to explore the market. As soon as supplies are available trade commissioners will contact the various buyers with a view to arranging increased sales. The potato crop is subject to seasonal conditions. Potatoes are just coming on the market, mainly from Western Australia. However, this year the crop in that State will be only about one-half of what it normally is - three or four tons to the acre instead of eight tons to the acre - so supplies this year will be somewhat less than they were previously.

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