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First South African litchis to US

The paperwork is finally done and South African litchis will be heading for the US market. The radiation treatment was agreed this time last year but only now has all the paperwork for the import permit been completed.

According to Derek Donkin, CEO of Subtrop the first volumes should go via air freight in December. "We will be sending very limited volumes to start with to see how the market is. We will be aiming at the top end with our fruit."

The variety exported will be the Mauritius which will be received at Gulfport, Mississippi.

Madagascar, Mauritius and Réunion Island are the only other countries producing litchi at the same time as South Africa. This is counter season the US domestic production as well as that of China.

The largest producers, China and Vietnam have their harvest from May until June, which coincides with the U.S.’ domestic producers in Florida.

Litchis are grown in north-east South Africa on 1,200 hectares.

For more information:
Derek Donkin
Tel: +27 153073676

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