South Africa becomes king of macadamia nuts again

South Africa has been named the world's largest macadamia nut producer for the second consecutive year, says Alan Sutton, chairman of the Valley Macadamia Group of Hazyview in Mpumalanga.

Sutton, who attended the international nut - and dry fruits Congress (INC) in Melbourne, Australia, said that South Africa's macadamia nut production figures beat those of Australia last year. He also said that the country was crowned the world's largest macadamia nut producer. It was not mere chance or luck, because this performance is repeated the runoff years.

In the past season, South Africa's production increased by 20% when compared to the previous season. The country has provided​ 48 000 tonnes of the current world production of nearly 160 000 tonnes.

According to the Australian macadamia industry, its latest estimated production figure of 40 000 tonnes is due to poor weather conditions over the past few years. Meanwhile, Hawaii's macadamia nut supply discontinued on the world market.

This creates a situation where more than 20 000 tonnes of macadamia nuts from the world market are ‘removed’. "This will have an impact on the current inflexibility of the world prices of nut tree crops, and is probably good news for the South African macadamia nut industry," Sutton said.

The local harvest has reached a phase of exponential growth as the orchards reached maturity, which has resulted in greater returns. "This should put the domestic industry in a good position to meet the growing demand for macadamia nuts from Asia. Research has shown that 53% of the world's population finds them within the next five years in the Asian circle and this is where the focus on consumers should be, " Sutton said.

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