South Africa`s production and exports of apples, pears and table grapes continues to grow mainly due to new orchards coming into full production, and some wine grape areas being diverted to table grapes.
This has cushioned the impact of the recent drought conditions on the 2018/19 MY crop. However, the production of apples and pears is not expected to return to normal production levels until in the 2019/20 MY. South Africa is self-sufficient and only imports small quantities of deciduous fruits to fulfill niche markets or to satisfy domestic demand when supply is limited.
Due to phytosanitary restrictions, the United States only has limited market access to export apples from areas that are free of Rhagoletis pomonella (apple maggot). The United States and South Africa are negotiating to expand this market access to include areas regulated for apple maggot in the United States.
The Western Cape Province is the largest growing region of deciduous fruits in South Africa, accounting for 72 percent of the total growing area and production. The other growing regions include the Northern Cape (17 percent), Eastern Cape (8 percent), and very low production (less than 3 percent) in the NorthWest, Free State, Mpumalanga, and Limpopo Provinces. Figure 1 shows the deciduous fruit production areas in South Africa.