AUSTRALIAN CONCERN OVER LIME IMPORTS FROM NEW CALEDONIA

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NOUMEA, New Caledonia (March 16, 1999 - Radio Australia)---Citrus growers in Australia's Northern Territory claim their lime industry will suffer a severe setback if the Australian Government allows Tahitian Limes to be imported from New Caledonia.

The Australian Quarantine and Inspections Service is now examining New Caledonia's import request.

The President of the Territory's Citrus Growers Association, Ray Stephensen, said he is very concerned about the impact it could have on southern Australian markets:

"They’re currently being exported from New Caledonia into New Zealand at prices less than ours," he said. "The lime market in Australia is not a large market. It’s a market that’s easily over supplied."

If Australia permits New Caledonian limes to be imported, he stressed, it will have an adverse impact on the lime industry in the Northern Territory.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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