The growth in South Africa’s citrus crop is set to continue in 2018/19 due to expanded planted area, favourable growing conditions and strong demand. Trade is a key driver in the growth of South African citrus production, with total exports accounting for 79% of total citrus production. The US remains a key market for South African citrus growers seeking to maintain and expand market access for citrus. In 2017/18, citrus exports to the US totalled US$47million. The growth in orange production and supply has also led to the increase in orange juice production.
Grapefruit production is forecast to be up 7% to 450,000 tons in 2018/19, due to the rise in area planted, normal weather conditions, bigger sized fruits and the high level of new- planting in the past five years. Exports are expected to increase by 8% 310,000 tons, due to higher production, strong demand in global markets, especially Asia and some EU countries.
Orange output is predicted to be up 5% to 1.6 million tons, due to the expanded planted area and larger fruit size. Orange exports are expected to rise by 4% to 1.3 million tons, due to increased production, growth in demand from China and Hong Kong, and successfully addressing the Citrus Black Spot (CBS) challenges in the EU market.
The tangerines crop is expected to rise by 7% to 300,000 tons, due to the rise in area planted and the new plantings coming into full production. Tangerines exports are set to be up 7% to 280,000 tons.
The lemon and lime crop is forecast to increase by 4% to 480,000 tons, due to the rise in planted area and the new-plantings entering full production. Exports are expected to rise by 5% to 330,000 tons, due to increased production and growth in demand from the Middle East and Asian markets.