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2023 South African Macadamia Crop Set for New Record

July 25, 2023

According to the most recent forecast from Macadamias South Africa (SAMAC), the country’s macadamia nut production in 2023 is expected to reach 77,659 metric tons, representing a 12.8% increase over the 2022 crop. Despite fierce competition, South Africa remains the world’s leading producer of macadamia nuts, followed by Australia and China, which are expected to produce 60,000 and 56,000 metric tons, respectively, this year.

Data from SAMAC show that South African macadamia output more than doubled between 2010 and 2022, rising from 28,428 metric tons to 68,840 metric tons. Production has been gradually increasing over the last decade, with the exception of 2016 and 2020, when yields dropped on account of exceptionally high temperatures in both years and the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.

Because of a large expansion of the planting area, the South African macadamia industry is poised for significant growth in the coming years. According to the SAMAC tree census, 9,148 hectares of new macadamia trees were planted in 2022, for a total of 65,516 hectares across the country. Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo are the leading regions in macadamia farming, with KwaZulu-Natal establishing the most new hectares for the fifth consecutive year. In 2022, KwaZulu-Natal added 3,705 hectares, while Mpumalanga and Limpopo planted 3,403 and 1,547 more hectares, respectively.

Approximately 98% of macadamia nuts produced in South Africa are exported. According to the South African Revenue Service, the country’s macadamia exports amounted to 4.6 billion South African rand ($260 million) last year. Kernels made up the majority of exports, accounting for 64% of total shipments and totaling 12,380 metric tons when measured in terms of kernel weight or 38,689 metric tons when measured in terms of in-shell weight. Strong demand was demonstrated by North America (43%) and Europe (32%), while East and Southeast Asia (19%), with China as the major destination, and the Middle East (2%) absorbed smaller quantities. In terms of in-shell nut exports, 97% were destined for East and Southeast Asia (mostly China), while 3% were shipped to Europe and North America, with a total exported volume of 22,162 metric tons.

According to data from China Customs, China imported approximately 22,900 metric tons of in-shell macadamia nuts worth approximately 660 million Chinese yuan ($92.3 million) and 630 metric tons of macadamia nut kernels worth 62.9 million yuan ($8.8 million) from South Africa in 2022. According to figures from the South African Revenue Service, South Africa’s exports to China totaled roughly $100 million in 2022, or 40% of all exports, making China the country’s top market for macadamia nuts.

The SAMAC forecast predicts that global macadamia nut production, which has doubled over the past decade, will have reached 503,425 metric tons by 2027, with an average annual growth rate of 12.3%. If this prediction proves true, an estimated 135,000 metric tons of macadamia nuts will be produced in South Africa that year, compared with 100,000 metric tons in China.

Images: Unsplash (main image), Macadamias South Africa (body images)

This article was based on a Chinese article. Read the original article.


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