South Africa reports a record citrus season

"With the volume now packed closing in on 120 million 15 Kg cartons (1.8 million tons) the southern African export volumes are the highest ever, surpassing 2015s 118.4 million cartons; and we have a few weeks of packing to go," states Justin Chadwick, CEO of South African Citrus Growers.

The final packed figure will not be far off the season's opening estimate of 122.7 m cartons, although the mix favours soft citrus, lemons and Valencia at the expense of navels.

With a bigger volume of grapefruit exported in 2017 than the previous year all regions experienced growth in terms of total volumes. However, the volumes were spread slightly differently. The biggest importer was the EU (still including the UK) which received 5.5 m cartons (2016 5.2 million), this represented a market share of 41% (2016 45%). Asia (which includes Japan, South Korea, Bangladesh, India, Thailand and Indonesia amongst 16 countries classified into this region) received 3.1 m cartons (2016 2.4m) and increased market share from 20% to 23%.

South East Asia (China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam) increased from 1.6m to 1.8 m; but market share dropped from 15% to 14%. Russia increased from 0.9 m to 1.1 m cartons going from 7% to 8% market share. North America increased from 500 000 to 600 000 cartons, while Middle East increased from 330 000 to 350 000 cartons.

From 2014 to 2015, world citrus imports into China increased from 161 833 tons to 214 873 tons. Although South Africa remained the main supplier (supplying almost 100 000 tons per annum), its share of imports decreased. There were significant increases in imports from the USA and Australia.

Publication date: 10/3/2017
Author: Nichola McGregor

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