South Africa Citrus Annual 2009

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Total citrus production is forecasted to increase to 1,562,600 MT in marketing year 2010/11. It is anticipated that the profile of citrus, in terms of consumption and trade, will also increase with the World Cup coming to South Africa in 2010.The success of a plum campaign in the United Kingdom using the tag line “Beautiful Country, Beautiful Fruit might also be used by the citrus stakeholders with the objective of raising the profile of South African citrus.

For marketing year 2009, total citrus production is expected to be 1,396,023 MT, slightly lower compared to 2008’s total production of 1,417,918 MT. The decreased production is partly influenced by grapefruit production which has fallen by 8.6 percent from 192,597 MT in 2008 to 176,022 MT in 2009. This decrease in production of grapefruit was caused by drought which affected the Limpopo province where grapefruit is mainly grown.

South Africa citrus fruit faced stiff competition from Chile in the U.S. navel market but managed to ship 33,195 pallets, around 1,000 pallets more compared to 2008. Although South African citrus average prices were higher than that of Chile; quality, timing of delivery matching orders of specific sizes, new packaging, and regular shipment gave South Africa a competitive advantage over its new competitor.

Linda Siphugu