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South Africa expects to produce more citrus fruits this season
Given the expansion of the acreage and the ideal weather conditions recorded in the main producing regions of Limpopo, the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga, South Africa expects its citrus production to increase this season.
The drought in the Western Cape will likely lead to a decline in the production of mandarins; however, their tariff-free export to the United States under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) is expected to continue recording strong annual growth.
Subsequent estimates indicate that the country's grapefruit production will increase by 5% and reach 370,000 tonnes in the 2017/18 season, mostly due to the expansion of the acreage and the good weather conditions in the main producing regions of Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
Grapefruit exports are expected to grow by 4% and reach 240,000 tonnes in the 2017/18 season, based on the increase in production, strong demand in Asia and some EU countries, and export statistics up to April 2018.
The production of oranges will grow by 8% to 1.47 million tonnes in the 2017/18 season, mostly thanks to the normal amount of rainfall and an expansion of the acreage in the main producing regions of Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga, which account for about 82% of the total area devoted to the production of oranges. The fruit's exports are expected to be 4% higher, reaching 1.22 million tonnes in the 2017/18 season, based on the increase in production, the growth in the demand from China and Hong Kong, and South Africa's successful efforts to address the challenges posed by black spot in the EU market.
The production of mandarins is expected to fall by 2%, to 255,000 tonnes, in the 2017/18 season, mainly due to the impact of the drought, which has led to lower yields in the main producing region of the Western Cape.
The export of mandarins in the 2017/18 season is expected to increase by 5%, to a total of 220,000 tonnes, based on the sector's strategy of prioritising export markets over national ones, and the strong demand for this fruit in the world markets.
Publication date: 7/5/2018
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