South Africa's macadamia nut industry sees double-digit growth
South Africa's macadamia nut industry has been enjoying substantial growth and is soon to wrap up another successful season in various world markets.
Although the country's production is forecast to drop 15% year-on-year to 39,116 metric tons (MT) due to drought conditions, a director of Maximac said new hectarage is being planted at a rapid rate.
"It's growing by about 11-12% a year. There are currently about 20,000 hectares, and it's increasing at about 2,200 annually, which has been the rate for the last few years," Pierre Lombaart told www.freshfruitportal.com.
The season typically runs from April to around August, with 99% of production exported.
"Exports are worldwide to all continents, but the two major markets will be North America and the Far East - China in particular," he said.
"There is also very sizeable volume to Europe, then also Middle East and some to Australia and South America as well."
Lombaart said the current season had been going well, with strong demand and almost no market fluctuation.
"If one area drops in demand another area seems to step in because there is a shortage of macadamia nuts globally," he said.
"Only about 1% of global tree nut market is made out of macadamias, so it’s a niche product and it generally means we’re not so affected by certain market conditions, as for example pecans might be or cashews might be."