A strong increase in global demand for citrus has so far been evident in the 2020 export season, according to Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa.

In a statement, Chadwick said increased global demand for lemons had resulted in 4,5 million 15kg-equivalent cartons being shipped to date. This was double the 1,8 million cartons exported during the same period in 2019.

“The bulk of these shipments (64%) have been shipped to the Middle East, while shipments to Russia have increased from 9% to 12% [of total volume]. [Volumes] of soft citrus, at 424 000 cartons to date, and grapefruit, at 411 000 cartons to date, are similar to the previous year’s exports [for the same period].”

Gert Upton, marketing and sales representative at Schoonbee Landgoed, which produced citrus fruit among other commodities near Groblersdal in Limpopo, said countries in the Northern Hemisphere, such as Spain and Italy, had supplied lower volumes of citrus to the global market due to harvesting challenges.

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Siyanda Sishuba