South African citrus exports to U.S. on track with mandarins soon to arrive

South African citrus exports to U.S. on track with mandarins soon to arrive

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South African citrus exports to U.S. on track with mandarins soon to arrive

By Summer Citrus from South Africa

Exports of citrus from South Africa to the United States continue at full pace and remain on track with pre-season estimates, providing consumers in the market a constant supply of high-quality summer citrus.

Summer Citrus from South Africa (SCSA) - an industry collaboration that consolidates the marketing, logistics and sales efforts of the country's growers in the U.S. market - has been working hard to ensure that there have been no disruptions to exports this year, despite numerous challenges.

"Overall, we are on-par with year-to-date estimates on both Easy Peelers and Oranges. The biggest growth will be later on with the Mandarin varieties, which will soon start to arrive," said Suhanra Conradie, CEO of SCSA.

South Africa is the second-largest exporter of citrus globally and the majority of the fruit is being produced in the Northern part of South Africa and shipped from Durban (Kwa-Zulu Natal), where much of the recent violence was centralized, in addition to Gauteng.

"The Summer Citrus from South Africa group is primarily located in the Western Cape of the country and our product is shipped from Cape Town to the U.S.," Conradie said.

"We put a lot of effort into our pre-season planning and have long-term strategic partnerships with global supply-chain service providers. These relationships are critical to the success of the operation! While our country faces challenges, our operation remains unaffected."

South Africa is working its way through the third and most severe wave of Covid-19. However, the Summer Citrus program has managed to overcome the challenges.

"The pandemic has increased demand for citrus products, provoked out-of-the-box thinking and forced us to run our business 'prepared for the worst and expecting the best'", Conradie said.

"We have a very healthy system and shipping plan in place, and we address challenges swiftly as they arise. Throughout the supply chain, from harvest to shipping and distribution, systems were put in place to protect the workforce and secure the execution of our program.

"While the pandemic has presented its challenges, we have grown stronger as a result and work in greater collaboration together as a team."

Citrus market updates

The shipping program for conventional vessels has been finalized for the season with fruit expecting to arrive to the US through mid to late October.

  • Easy Peelers – currently in the later mandarin varieties with volumes slightly ahead. Quality is looking very good and retailers can expect premium product. In terms of packing, we are very much on-par with YTD estimates
  • Navel Oranges - We are slightly ahead on volumes with both quality and sizing looking really good. We will soon pack the last volumes, before transition into MKN
  • Star Ruby – looking good and shipping a little more than anticipated. Volumes are more than anticipated
  • Cara-Cara - Also doing very well, and have shipped increased volumes.  Last arrivals into the US towards the end of August

Next level sustainable farming

Despite the hardships that South Africa has faced recently - including the riots in Kwa-Zulu Natal and the taxi-violence that escalated in the Western Cape - the country still has many positive stories to share and embrace.

Our very own Summer Citrus from South Africa story of collaboration and sustainable farming is just the kind of positivity we are most proud to share:

  • Our approach to farming is all about food production that is in harmony with nature.
  • By farming the land, we aim to preserve the natural habitat for generations to come.
  • We remember to make the economics work!
  • Our people are our biggest asset.
  • We believe that nature gives you the results of the effort you put in.

We are happy to share this video and hope you'll take a moment to hear more on our sustainability efforts from three of our Board of Directors and prominent grower-exporters, Boet Mouton, Stiaan Engelbrecht and Gerrit van der Merwe.


For more information, please contact Suhanra Conradie, CEO of Summer Citrus from South Africa, at

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