Citrus Growers’ Association of South Africa revises orange exports down

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Citrus Growers’ Association of South Africa revises orange exports down

The Citrus Growers’ Association of South Africa (CGA) revised down its Navel orange export estimate by 15%.

The original projections put exports at 25.6 million 15-kg cartons, with smaller sizes and challenging growing conditions now lowering figures to 22 million cartons.

"Local citrus juicing prices are currently high, and many growers are taking advantage of this,” said CGA CEO Justin Chadwick.

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The new estimate also represents an 11% drop over last year, when South Africa shipped a total of 24.8 million cartons of Navels to destination markets.

Navels account for approximately 17% of South African citrus exports.

“Fruit sizes are also somewhat smaller due to the warm and dry weather experienced in large parts of the country. This means there are more individual fruit packed into a 15kg carton relative to last year, ”he explained.

However, the executive told on May 24 that the sector is looking at "excellent quality" but that inefficient port operations and degrading transportation infrastructure remain a threat to the sector's shipments.

Severe winds caused above-average fruit dropping in the Western Cape and hail damage was reported in parts of the Senwes (Groblersdal and Marble Hall) region, Chadwick added.

Valencia oranges are also expected to see a 4% volume reduction, the Citrus Growers’ Association said, reaching 56 million cartons this season.

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