Favorable exchange rate could raise South African citrus exports
Favorable exchange rates could help increase South African citrus exports this year provided the European Union does not close its doors, according to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report.
A USDA Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) report said the country's citrus production would continue to recover in MY2012-13, for the second consecutive year since hailstorms damaged Navel orange yields in 2010-11.
"In addition, despite increased competition in global markets, SA citrus production and exports have been increasing as industry adopts varieties that are in demand globally, shifts to improved management practices to improve fruit quality, and a favorable exchange rate," the report said.
However, the report mentioned citrus exports to the European Union were "in danger" after some shipments were found to have the citrus black spot (CBS) disease, given the country has a five-strike limit.
"The issue was discussed by high level officials from South Africa and the EU in June 2013 in hopes to find a solution to this issue. As of today, exports have not been disrupted," the report said.
The USDA predicts grapefruit exports will rise by 26% to 225,000 metric tons (MT) and orange shipments will increase slightly to 1.1 million MT.
On the other hand, exports are expected to drop of slightly for lemons and easy peelers, to levels of 160,000MT and 122,058MT respectively.