South African citrus exports to reach 260 million boxes in 10 years, with China ranked as major importer

The South African Citrus Growers Association (CGA) said the CGA will develop a series of plans in the next two months to achieve its goal of producing, packing, distributing and selling 260 million boxes of citrus by 2032, a new CGA Council 260 vision to be adopted by the South African citrus industry at its annual meeting in mid-March.

The CGA’s 2022 Annual Report released shows that the CGA compiled the completion of the annual fruit tree census (including information from Zimbabwean and Eswatini growers) based on data collected by the South African Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) during the November 2021 orchard export registration process. Of the 99,969 hectares of orchards covered by the fruit tree census, 31% were Valencia and medium-ripened oranges, 24% were oranges, 18% were lemons, 16% were navel oranges and 9% were grapefruit.

CGA CEO Justin Chadwick said in the briefing that he realizes that most of the forecasts made in previous years have been wrong, so he will not try to make a forecast this time. If all players in the South African citrus chain are rewarded, the future of the citrus industry is bright, with a projected increase of 10 million boxes per year over the next decade.

Over the last few years, the CGA has talked about a major target of 200 million boxes by 2025, so the industry will have to increase exports by an additional 40 million boxes over the next few years. Exporting 260 million cases by 2032 would mean increasing exports by at least 10 million cases per year between now and 2032.

In the first few months of 2023, the CGA will meet with stakeholders across the chain to present the long-term model’s projections, explain the nine projects that will drive capacity and skills development, and the action plan to achieve Vision 260.

China has become a major importer of South African citrus, the CGA said in its 2022 report. more than 130,000 tonnes of South African citrus were exported to China in the 2020/21 season (6% of total South African citrus exports). in the 2021/22 season, this figure reached a record 162,809 pallets, an increase of 24% over the previous season. The most significant growth was seen in oranges and grapefruit, with orange exports almost doubling.

South African citrus exports to Hong Kong, China, continued to decline from the highs of the 2017/18 season, from 87,000 pallets to 48,000 pallets in the 2021/22 season, and exports of all citrus categories were down. Total South African citrus exports to Hong Kong and China have remained stable at around 200,000 pallets since the 2018/19 season.

Source: International Fruit and Vegetable Report

Post time: Feb-21-2023