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Macadamias: Australia loses market shares

October 17, 2022 at 11:55 AM , Der AUDITOR
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WASHINGTON, D.C./CANBERRA. United States macadamia imports exceeded a record 7 million lbs (3,175 mt) in July. Imports also hit a record 33 million lbs (14,968 mt) in 2021/2022. Although Australia witnessed the largest surge in shipments to the USA, Kenya and South Africa are the leading suppliers.

Record import volumes

As data released by the USDA Economic Research Service shows U.S. imports of fresh and dried macadamias surged more than fourfold in July as compared with the same month last year. This upsurge is unprecedented and ties in with general observations that global demand recovered again after taking a pandemic-related hit in 2020/2021. While U.S. imports slumped to 18 million lbs in 2020/2021, they recovered to a record 33.491 million lbs in 2022/2023.

Kenya and South Africa were the most important suppliers for the U.S by far in 2021/2022 shipping 12.583 million and 10.339 million lbs respectively. This trend also persisted in the first month of the current marketing year as shipments from these two countries to the U.S. surged by an impressive 363% and 156%. Yet, the gap to other important supplying countries such as Malawi or Guatemala declined. 

Australia may have stepped up shipments more than twentyfold to the U.S. in July, but the volumes shipped range much lower than from Guatemala. Shipments from Australia may have risen by 21% in 2021/2022 to 1.716 million lbs, yet the country is well on course to losing its U.S. market shares to South Africa, Kenya, Guatemala and Malawi as the USDA ranking of the prior four marketing years shows.

US macadamia imports, in 1,000 lbs

Top 5 origins

Jul 2021/22

Jul 2022/23

Diff

Kenya

540

2,501

363%

South Africa

558

1,431

156%

Malawi

166

1,399

743%

Guatemala

105

1,140

985%

Australia

21

584

2680%

Others

133

113

-15%

Total

1,523

7,168

370%

Fresh or dried
U.S. Department of Commerce, U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Statistics, ERS

China advancing to top player

The Australian Macadamia Society presently reckons that this year’s inshell production will take a 10% hit to 49,340 mt for macadamias with 3.5% moisture (52,900 mt @ 10% moisture) due to adverse weather conditions and flooding in New South Wales and southeast Queensland. The quality also appears to be good as Australian macadamias has recently reported that the industry has achieved 100% compliance in the National Residue Survey 25 years in running.

South Africa is expected to step up inshell production by 22% to 68,522 mt (3.5% moisture) in 2022 and the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council anticipates a 12% rise in global production, which is also driven by a 50% increase in production in China to 50,000 mt. The country is, in fact, well on track to become the world’s leading macadamia producer as annual production should climb by 5-10% in the next ten years as the USDA reports. A lack of uniform varieties coupled with inconsistent quality and unprofessional crop management will, however, continue to slow exports to a certain extent. Spot market prices for macadamias from Kenya presently range at EUR 15.06-18.65/kg (USD 14.61-18.65/kg) in Europe.

Macadamias, Kenya

Style

EUR/kg

USD/kg

0, 20+ mm

18.65

18.09

1L, 16-20 mm

16.06

15.58

1S, 13-16 mm

15.05

14.61

FCA Spain

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