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South African macadamia production up 9% from 2016

Alex Whyte, general manager at macadamia processing and exporting company, Green Farms Nut Company, told Farmer’s Weekly that it was too early to accurately determine growth in the macadamia industry for 2017, as nuts were still being processed and sales were being finalised.

“The South African Macadamia crop did not recover as quickly as some other crops, as tree crop recovery takes a bit longer. However, the total 2017 SA crop increased to 42 000t of nut-in-shell from 38 500t in 2016. Green Farms Nut Company net exports were up 7% in rand terms from 2016,” Whyte said.

However, the larger crop and record US dollar sales prices were somewhat nullified by the stronger Rand, Whyte explained.

Whyte said macadamia farmers could expect to fetch higher prices in 2017 for their produce, as a result of improved yield and the record-high prices achieved this year.

Despite lowered production, recent reports stated that the horticultural industry contributed the most towards the economic growth of the agriculture sector in 2017.

According to Statistics SA, the industry’s contribution to the sector was now, for the first time since 2015, equal to that of its pre-drought contributions.

Meanwhile, CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association, Justin Chadwick, said that prices for citrus fruit in 2016 were well above expectations.

“There was a record in terms of earnings, despite the lower volumes exported,” he said. He added that citrus exports in 2017 were expected to reach a record high.

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