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This Season’s Export Forecasts for South African Oranges Revised Downward

June 18, 2024

In the May 31 edition of his weekly newsletter, Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers’ Association of Southern Africa, announced downward revisions of this season’s export forecasts for South African navel and Valencia oranges.

The estimated export volume for navel oranges has been reduced to 21.9 million cartons (15 kilograms per carton), representing a significant decrease of almost 15% compared with the initial forecast of 25.7 million cartons made at the beginning of the season. Last season, South Africa packed a total of 24.8 million cartons of navel oranges for export to overseas markets, accounting for approximately 15% of the country’s total citrus exports. The latest forecast for this season marks a 12% decline from last year’s final export volume.

In his newsletter, Chadwick explained that several factors had made the forecast adjustment necessary. First, high local prices for citrus juice are prompting many growers to sell their oranges to the processing industry. Second, dry and warm weather across key production regions has led to smaller fruit sizes, resulting in more oranges per carton compared with last season. Third, strong winds have caused some oranges to fall from the trees in the Western Cape, and certain parts of the Senwes region (Groblersdal and Marble Hall) have also suffered from hail damage. Finally, an increase in Egypt’s orange exports to the European Union has had a knock-on effect on South Africa’s orange exports. Although Egypt is counterseasonal to South Africa in terms of orange production, the greater presence of Egyptian oranges on the European market has nonetheless impacted early-season demand for South African oranges.

The projected export volume for Valencia oranges has also been revised to 56.1 million cartons, corresponding to a 4% reduction from the initial estimate of 58.3 million cartons. Chadwick noted that it is still early in the Valencia orange season and a further downward revision is possible. Last season, South Africa packed 52 million cartons of Valencia oranges for export to overseas markets, accounting for approximately 31% of the country’s total citrus exports.

Chadwick emphasized that South Africa’s orange production is still on track to continue its growth trend over the next decade. Based on the revised orange export forecasts, the total citrus export volume for this season is estimated to reach 173.8 million cartons. According to shipping data from the Perishable Products Export Control Board and Agrihub, as of the end of week 21, exports of South African grapefruit, mandarins, lemons and navel oranges totaled approximately 6.1 million, 6.3 million, 11.9 million and 1.3 million cartons, respectively, with the packing and shipping of Valencia oranges yet to begin.

Image: Pixabay

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.


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