The new Philippine market potentially offers the opportunity for South African producers to export 20 000 tons of citrus fruit a year. After twelve years of negotiations between South Africa and Philippines the landmark export plan was at the end of last year. The South African citrus industry is expected to grow with approximately 500 000 tons over the next few years. Thus, expanding to new markets is of upmost importance to ensure that an oversupply does not occur in existing markets. The area used for soft citrus production is expected to grow with approximately 29 %, of which 42 % of the growth is expected to be mandarins.
Ten months ago, in March 2020, we predicted a bumper export season, estimating that export volumes would reach 143 million cartons of fruit. Now that the final export figures are in, we can announce a record-breaking 2020 export season that delivered 146 million cartons of South African citrus to the rest of the world,” said Just Chadwick CEO of the Citrus Grower’s Association in South Africa.
The new citrus export levy for 2021 has been announced: R1,64 per 15kg carton – a significant increase from 74c per 15kg carton in 2020. The industry as a whole welcomes the increase and predicts that it could result in an additional income of about R134 million.
Cape Town – After eleven years of negotiations, South Africa’s citrus industry has been given the go-ahead to export to the Philippines, with the signing of a work plan between the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, and the Philippines Bureau of Plant and Industry.
Agriculture Minister Thoko Didiza made the announcement yesterday as the South African citrus industry estimates that close to 500 000 tons of additional citrus would be available for export by 2024.
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.
Despite one of the best seasons on record in mitigating the risk of Citrus Black Spot symptoms on fruit arriving at EU borders, the EU seems determined to meet South Africa’s best efforts with unflinching bureaucratic coldness.
The Rewe supermarket in Mitte, Berlin – along the banks of the Spree River – has a selection of Stellenbosch wine, chakalaka flavoured chips and baskets of fresh South African oranges. None of which, in the globalised 2018 world, is surprising or out of place. All of which makes it so difficult to accept the European Union’s (EU) relentless and equally hardkoppige 26-year campaign to keep those oranges off the shelves – citing something called citrus black spot (CBS).
If the Western Cape were a country, it would be the world’s fifth largest exporter of citrus fruits.
South Africa is currently the second biggest exporter of citrus in the world after Spain, accounting for 10% of the global market. The Western Cape currently exports the majority share of this, at 62%, making it the largest exporter of citrus fruit in the Southern Hemisphere.
Over 6% of the global market share of citrus was exported from the Western Cape in 2017. To put this in perspective, China and the USA, which hold the spots as the world’s third and fourth biggest exporters, hold global market share of eight percent and 7 percent respectively.