The latest estimate for South Africa’s exports in the 2018-19 campaign are for an 11% fall for apricots, a 3% drop for peaches, and a 3% increase for both nectarines and plums. Despite the lower volumes, South Africa’s stonefruit exporters are optimistic about market conditions for their exports in the EU this winter. The slightly later South African stonefruit crop has coincided with a shorter Italian plum season, particularly Angelina plums. The market should be empty by the time the bulk of South Africa’s fruit arrives, ensuring there is no oversupply. The largest volumes are expected from January onwards.
Plum exports are down due to damage to early varieties caused by a heatwave. The drop in apricot volumes is due to the shrinkage in planted area in recent years combined with an extended drought in some growing areas.