South African citrus exports looking up with expanded U.S. access - The Packer

South African citrus exports looking up with expanded U.S. access

12/28/2010 09:22:20 AM
Tom Karst

The USDA FAS has issued a 10-page annual report on the state of South African citrus. The country is the world's second largest exporter of citrus but only the 14th biggest producer. SA export prospects for marketing year 2011 are pegged 4% higher across all varieties. South Africa citrus producers won increased access to the U.S. market this year after the USDA recognized several production areas as free of citrus black spot disease.

From the report...

South Africa’s citrus industry expects record exports for marketing year 2010. South Africa exported approximately 1.5 MMT of citrus to growing markets in the Middle and Far East on increased consumer demand largely for fresh oranges. South African citrus producers exported the Star Ruby grapefruit, and Clementine and Navel oranges to the United States for the first time in July of 2010, as the U.S. Department of Agriculture recognized several production areas as free of citrus black spot disease in South Africa.

The citrus season in South Africa starts in the month of April and ends in September. However, the harvest time varies depending on the fruit and variety.

Citrus exports are expected to increase four percent in MY2011 (beginning April 2010) on higher demand for oranges in the Middle East. South Africa’s citrus fruits are mostly destined for export markets and are exported via the Durban and Port Elizabeth ports in South Africa or the Maputo port in Mozambique. About 60 percent of citrus exports depart from Durban. Citrus destined for the Middle East, the fastest growing market for South African citrus, is shipped through the Port Elizabeth port.

SOUTH AFRICAN CITRUS GAINS ACCESS TO THE UNITED STATES
SA citrus producers exported the Star Ruby grapefruit, and Clementine and Navel oranges, to the United States for the first time as a result of United States Department of Agriculture’s decision recognize a number of citrus production areas in South Africa as pest free areas for citrus black spot disease.

Post forecasts area planted to grapefruit will increase to 9,200 hectares (ha) in MY 2011, up one percent from the previous year, on expanded market access to the United States for South African grapefruit. SA exported grapefruit to the United States for the first time in 2010 following the USDA’s recognition of several production areas being free of citrus black spot disease in SA.

Post forecasts grapefruit exports will increase nearly six percent to 200,000 MT for MY2011 on increased production and higher exportable supplies. Post estimates a ten percent decline in grapefruit exports to 189,100 MT for MY2010 as compared to the previous year’s exports of 210,186 MT, on a lower production base and lower exportable supplies.

Post forecasts orange exports at 1.15 MMT for MY2011, a five percent increase from the previous year, on higher exportable supplies. Post estimates orange exports at 1.1 MMT for MY2010. According to industry reports, orange exports equal 1.0 MMT as of November 15 in MY2010. That is a 14 percent increase compared to 2009 exports during the same period. The Navel export season has stretched over a longer period in MY2010 than in the past years given the shift to late harvest varieties. This longer harvest season is expected to result in a higher volume of exports. Although the EU has been SA’s traditional market, industry reports show that citrus shipments are shifting from the European Union into new markets like the Middle East and Russia. Industry officials posit that these markets have recovered from the global recession, while sluggish demand persists in Europe, UK, and Japan.




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