South Africa loses citrus access to Vietnam

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South Africa loses citrus access to Vietnam

Category confusion and technicalities may be the causes behind Vietnam's blockage of South African citrus this season, said Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers' Association (CGA) of Southern Africa.oranges_68643514

"There seems to be a problem with the definition of 'citrus' – and particularly whether oranges are citrus. The Vietnamese authorities have subsequently requested that South Africa supply the data package for oranges; followed by the other citrus types," Chadwick said.

"Generally we prefer to apply for all citrus as a group – however, due to the very specific request from Vietnam, the data package for oranges will be supplied immediately, to be followed by the others."

Oranges are the main citrus type for South Africa in Vietnam. The category represented almost all of 2012 sales to the Asian nation.

In contrast, South Africa has enjoyed greater access for grapefruit and lemons in South Korea.

The value of South African grapefruit in South Korea has grown steadily from US$2 million in 2003 to almost US$14 million  in 2012. Orange exports on the market have already reached 2012 levels at 162,000 cartons. Volume is expected to reach 300,000 cartons by the weekend, Faisal reported to CGA.

"This is better than volumes achieved in 2011 (117,000 cartons) and 2010 (122 ,000 cartons); but well below what many believe could be sent to that market. Obviously the tariff is a big deterrent for importers of South African citrus," Chadwick said.

The Far East and Asia made up 28% of South Africa's citrus exports in 2012, according to the Fresh Produce Exporters' Forum. It is the second most import export region after Europe.


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