Fruit and nut exports rose across the board for South Africa in 2017

More News Top Stories
Fruit and nut exports rose across the board for South Africa in 2017

Avocados were the only major crop that didn't see an export uptick, while oranges and table grapes performed particularly well in overseas markets. 

South African fruit and nut exports rose 18% year-on-year in 2017 to reach US$3.4 billion, outstripping the growth rate for shipment volume by eight percentage points.

Leading the way were oranges which accounted for more than a third of the volume and just over a fifth of the value, with exports up 26% at US$760 million.

Grapes were the second-largest export earner with a 24% increase to US$543 million, followed by apples (+5%; US$376 million), lemons (+12%; US$297 million), soft citrus (+15%; US$218 million) and pears (+6%; US$202 million).

Next in the ranks were grapefruit with a 26% jump to US$134 million, followed by macadamias which saw growth rates of 66% in-shell and 10% for the shelled nut, at levels of US$129 million and US$118 million respectively.

Plum exports rose 3% to US$83 million while avocado shipments were down 10% at US$65 million, which isn't so drastic considering volume was 25% lower.

A category for a series of sub-tropical fruit species, mostly made up of litchis, had a 2% export increase to US$53 million, while the country's fairly young blueberry industry saw exports nearly double to US$49 million.

The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia were the only leading markets that saw declines in their imports of South African fruit, while the sharpest rises were for Vietnam (+88%; US$98 million) the Chinese mainland (+85%; US$107 million), Russia (+52%; US$167 million) and third-largest market Hong Kong (+34%; US$285 million).

The Netherlands continued to be the leading market for South African fruit with a 15% rise to US$681 million, followed by the U.K. which saw its intake go up 14% to US$499 million.

Imports of South African fruit in the United States were up 19% at US$118 million, while other markets of note included Malaysia (+6%; US$99 million) and Canada (+25%; US$96 million).

Vietnam has seen the most staggering growth rate over the past five years rising 424% since 2013, while rates have also been impressive for the Chinese mainland (+176%) and Hong Kong (+112%).



Subscribe to our newsletter