West Australian Hass avocados have arrived in Thailand after a bilateral deal opened up an export partnership. The first successful delivery of six tonnes of WA avocados to the south-east Asian nation last week marked the start of the deal, set to be worth $10 million for Australian farmers by 2026. Federal Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said the deal was a “great step” in Australia’s trading relationship with Thailand. “There’s great consumer appetite for avocados in Thailand, and our reputation for delivering world-class, clean and healthy produce is a big asset on the world stage,” Senator Watt said. “The avocado industry has recently experienced substantially lower prices on the domestic market due to high supply, so opening new market access and trade opportunities is helping the avocado industry maintain steady supply and pricing.” Thailand was Australia’s 10th biggest agriculture, fisheries and forestry export market by value in 2022-23, worth more than $2.5 billion. News of the new market has been welcomed by WA avocado farmers, who have flagged significant concerns about oversupply. WA avocado farmers are forecast to produce nine million trays — each weighing 5.5kg — in WA in 2022-23, up 500,000 trays on the 8.5 million produced in 2021-22. About two thirds of WA’s plantations are at full production age, sparking concerns of over-supply and price drops among some farmers who fear large-scale corporates are planting too many trees. Rural Bank head of agribusiness Andrew Smith said the Thai market would be “crucial” to absorbing supply in coming seasons. WA avocado grower Alan Blight, from AvoWest, said the new market was a win for the industry. “The Thailand market being back on the cards for WA growers is a significant development for our industry and a very welcome one,” Mr Blight said. Hort Innovation chief executive Brett Fifield said securing new overseas markets for Australian avocados had been a key focus for the industry for more than 10 years. “Australia’s avocado production is rapidly increasing year on year,” he said. “If Australian production continues in line with current forecasts, by 2025 there is likely to be 25,000 tonnes available for export.” The Thailand shipment comes two months after Australian avocados were shipped to India for the first time, opening the door for farmers to access the world’s most populous nation of 1.4 billion people. Australia and India signed a free-trade deal in 2022, with more than 85 per cent of Australian goods exported to India tariff-free. It means Australian businesses, including avocado exporters, have access to one of the world’s fastest-growing major economies. Avocados Australia said multiple Hass avocado shipments had arrived in good condition on the baking hot sub-continent, which was the key to progressing trade. “Our access to India rested on the success of these 10 trial shipments so we are very grateful that the process went smoothly, more steps are ahead of us but we are closer to our end goal,” chief executive John Tyas said on Friday. The peak industry body visited India earlier in July, meeting with key stakeholders including importers and government officials. Avocados Australia said it intended to retain a strong presence in India to support ongoing marketing activities and connect growers and exporters with importers and retailers. “We look forward to great Aussie avocados becoming an important part of a healthy Indian diet,” Mr Tyas said.