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Difficult economic context for Malagasy lychees

The lychee season began in November and will last for about 8 weeks. Madagascar expects to export 17,000 tons this year, compared to 18,000 tons in 2013-2014 and 17,500 tons in 2012-2013. According to the figures, Malagasy lychee exports have tended to decrease over the last few years. Malagasy lychee production varies on average between 100,000 and 120,000 tons. Madagascar is the worlds 3rd lychee producer after China and India. Madagascar has dominated the European market over the last few years, but competition is increasing and the economic context in Europe does not favour lychee commercialisation. South Africa also provides a good market for the Malagasy lychee.

Overall, 14,000 tons of lychees from Madagascar will arrive on the European market by the end of December. Until now 90 tons of lychees have been exported by air, according to officials at the Toamasine Technical Horticultural Centre (CTHT). However prices are high for a product being commercialised on an international market experiencing a difficult economical context. Lychees are currently begin sold between €9-10/kilo on the European market. Lychees from La Réunion are the most expensive at €13/kilo in France compared to €9/kilo for South African lychees, and €6-7/kilo for lychees from Mauritius.

Malagasy lychees are successful on the South African market this year. La Réunion is South Africa’s main supplier, but bad weather conditions made their production decrease, allowing Madagascar a considerable South African market share.

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