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South African exports feeling the squeeze

The profitability and sustainability of South Africa’s citrus industry continues to be compromised and this could potentially limit further investments, the National Agricultural Marketing Council (NAMC) warned yesterday.

The sector faces headwinds of escalating input prices, such as fuel and fertiliser, soaring shipping costs as well as operational challenges involving the ports.
NAMC, in its Fruit Trade Flow Report September 2022, released on a quarterly basis by the trade unit of the Markets and Economic Research Centre, said if the sustainability of the citrus industry was threatened, it could prevent new entrants in the value chain – especially the emerging farmers – from playing a significant role in the industry. In addition to the prohibitive measures imposed by the European Union market, which is the major export destination for South Africa’s citrus, there was a need for the industry in partnership with the government to invest more in research and development (R&D) of cold sterilisation innovations, and the breeding of cultivars resistant to pests and diseases of concern in existing and potential export markets reports

The report also said that industry role-players should consider investing in the establishment of new markets other than focusing more on the EU through market diversification.

South Africa pome fruit production estimates South Africa’s production was expected to rise for a fourth consecutive year to a record 1.16 million tonnes. Volumes were up as new trees were coming into production and sufficient water for irrigation, combined with good growing conditions throughout the year, were leading to higher output.

Moreover, NAMC said South African pear production could increase by 7% to reach a record level of 510 000 tonnes in the 2021/22 season compared to 475 000 tonnes produced in 2020/21.


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