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Refrigerated containers made up 19% of SA exports in 2016
He says that even though 2016 saw the South African reefer market contract by about 3%, largely due to lower crop yields of citrus caused by the severe drought experienced across the region – refrigerated container trade still makes up about 19% of the total South African container exports.
“The large majority of produce that gets exported via reefer containers from South Africa is fruit, consisting mainly of citrus and deciduous varieties. Citrus fruits such as lemons and oranges make up the bulk of this trade, accounting for about 58%, while deciduous fruits such as apples, pears and grapes make up around 35%."
Conroy says that in terms of demand, the European continent receives close to 60% of South Africa’s reefer exports, a market which has been very consistent over time.
“Our biggest importer region would be the EU, which receives around 35%, while the UK and Russia receive roughly 15% and 7% respectively. Other import regions include Asia (17%), the Middle East (16%), Intra-Africa (5%) and North America (4%). The market has experienced no major shifts in demand with this split having been largely the same over the past five years.”
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