Lychees

Australian Lychee Growers Association are members of Plant Health Australia and signatories to the Emergency Plant Pest Response Deed. Their responsibilities include:

  • biosecurity planning and implementation at the national and farm levels
  • liaising with federal and state governments on trade issues
  • funding and supporting biosecurity initiatives
  • participating in national committees and response efforts in an emergency.

Industry overview

In 2018–19, lychee production was valued approximately $34 million (LVP), with exports valued at $7.4 million. Currently, the industry’s annual production ranges between 2,500–3,000 tonnes. Lychees are grown in Queensland and New South Wales. The harvest season begins in October in far north Queensland and moves down through to New South Wales until early April.

Lychees were introduced into Australia more than 100 years ago and over this time the industry has developed from a ‘small exotic fruit’ industry into a progressive and robust industry.

The demand for Australian lychees is on the increase domestically and overseas. Australian lychee exports to the United States continue to increase, with 24 tonnes exported in the 2019–20 season. These increases are expected to continue each year as more growers register for this export market.

Annual production is currently meeting the domestic demand and consumption with 20–25 per cent of production for export markets. New plantings will steadily increase the annual production as trees reach maturity and anticipated yield. It is anticipated that annual production will increase by up to 75 per cent, 5,000–5,500 tonnes within the next 10 years. A balance needs to be retained between domestic and export supply to ensure the industry continues to grow while maintaining its viability and sustainability for all lychee growers.

The Kwai Mai Pink lychee is the most widely grown variety in Australia. It is well regarded by Australian consumers for appearance, shelf life, taste and price. Kwai Mai Pink has become the main export variety especially to Hong Kong, USA, New Zealand and Canada. The late-cropping Wai Chee is also gaining export recognition with the small seeded Salathiel popular with buyers in Singapore. Other well-known varieties include: Tai So, Fay Zee Siu, Souey Tung, Sah Keng and Kaimana. Over the past 10 years, newer varieties have been developed and are now becoming popular with the Australian growers and consumers. These include: Chompogo, Baitaying, Erdon Lee, Linsansue, Red Ball, Sansuelin and Shuang Balia. Due to poor fruit set and irregular flowering, growers are now planting more of the newer varieties and phasing out the older varieties, Tai So, Fay Zee Siu and Souey Tung.

Annual value of lychee production, 2009–19

Distribution of lychee production by state and territory, 2018–19 (based on LVP)

Biosecurity planning provides a mechanism for the lychee industry, government and other relevant stakeholders to assess current biosecurity practices and future biosecurity needs. Planning identifies procedures that can be put in place to reduce the chance of pests reaching our borders or minimise the impact if a pest incursion occurs.

The Industry Biosecurity Plan for the Lychee Industry outlines key threats to the industry, risk mitigation plans, identification and categorisation of exotic pests and contingency plans. For a copy, please contact PHA on 02 6215 7700 or email [email protected].


The Exotic Pest Identification and Surveillance Guide for Tropical Horticulture was developed with funding from the Australia Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Inspecting crops for signs of new pests is one way growers can protect Australia’s plant industries from exotic pests, as early detection and reporting improves the chances of successfully containing or eradicating new pests. The guide is in two sections:
• Biosecurity and surveillance
• Identification of key exotic pests.

The Maximise your lychee crop with better pollination brochure, produced by PHA working with Plant and Food Research NZ and Hort Innovation, brings together the science on best-practice for pollination in one place and provides clear steps for growers to assess their pollination during flowering to reduce the risk of pollination failure.

Many growers in Australia rely heavily on the free pollination services offered by wild or unmanaged European honey bees. But honey bees are not always the best pollinator for a crop.


Additional pollination information

Additional fact sheets and web links about the pollination of this crop are listed below. Please be aware that some of the information was developed overseas, and environmental and seasonal variations may occur.

Lychee and longan pollination fact sheet, The Pollination Program (Agrifutures Australia and Hort Innovation)

Lychee, Purdue University, Indiana

Exotic pests (not in Australia)

The following is a list of high priority exotic pests of lychees. These pests were identified during the development of the Industry Biosecurity Plan for the Lychee Industry in consultation with industry, government and scientists. They have been assessed as high priority pests based on their potential to enter, establish, and spread in Australia (eg environmental factors, host range, vectors) and the cost to industry of control measures.

PHA has a range of fact sheets, contingency plans and diagnostic protocols relevant to these pests. Pest risk review documents are also available for some pests. Please contact PHA on 02 6215 7700 or email [email protected] for more information.

Endorsed National Diagnostic Protocols are available from the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network webpage.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Brown blight Peronophythora litchii
Coconut bug Pseudotheraptus wayi
Hong Kong stink bug Paradasynus longirostris
Longan and lychee witches’ broom disease Unknown (suspected phytoplasma)
Lychee fruit borer Conopomorpha sinensis
Lychee longicorn beetle Aristobia testudo
Oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis 2 FS FS FS FS FS FS FS DP DP

Other pests

The following is a list of documents for other exotic and endemic pests of the lychee industry. Please note that this is not a complete list of pests: rather it includes pests for which documents exist in the Pest Information Document Database.

Some of the documents presented here are not  tailored to the lychee industry and are included for information only.

Common name Scientific name EPPRD Category Fact sheet Contingency plan Diagnostic protocol
Blue-striped nettle grub Parasa lepida FS
Citrus blackfly Aleurocanthus woglumi FS
Citrus longicorn beetle Anoplophora chinensis FS CP
False codling moth Thaumatotibia leucotreta syn Cryptophlebia leucotreta 2 FS CP
Fijian fruit fly Bactrocera passiflorae FS DP
Gypsy moths Lymantria dispar and Lymantria mathura FS FS FS CP
Mediterranean fruit fly Ceratitis capitata FS DP
Queensland fruit fly Bactrocera tryoni FS DP