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Macadamias: EU to profit from unfair trade deal

October 31, 2023 at 8:17 AM , Der AUDITOR
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BRUSSELS/NAIROBI. Macadamia buyers are on the safe side as the controversial EU-Kenya trade deal is approaching ratification. EU importers are currently profiting from exceptionally low prices for macadamia nuts.

Divide and rule policy

Hailed as a golden opportunity for Kenya to gain sustained access to the EU’s single market, criticism of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is also fierce. Signed by Kenya on 19 June the trade deal will enable the duty-free imports of several agricultural products, including macadamia nuts, to the EU. At the same time the deal, however, creates unfair advantages for the EU the main issue being that local industries in Kenya and other member states of the East African Community (EAC) will not stand a chance against competitors within the EU. On 3 October the EU Commission approved the deal, which now only needs to be ratified by the EU Council and Parliament to take effect. Businesses importing macadamia nuts from Kenya are set to gain additional security as the economic ties become closer.

EU imports soar

The current supply glut is, however, causing Kenya’s macadamia exporters extensive losses this year as local media report. By contrast, this has also prompted EU macadamia nut imports to surge to an all-time high of 6,715 mt in terms of volume this year so far, whereas the import value ranges on a nine-year low at EUR 53 million (USD 56 million). Shipments from South Africa, the world’s leading producer, have surged by 47% between 01 January and 25 October 2023 as compared with the same period last year. Contrary to this, imports from Kenya have declined by 3%. Shipments from Australia are 12% up and have more than doubled from Guatemala. The Netherlands currently account for 35% of the EU’s imports, followed by Germany with 24% and Luxembourg with 18%. Next in line are Spain and Belgium (both with 8%).

EU macadamia nut imports (kg)

Country

2022

2023

Diff.

South Africa

2,275,243

3,356,930

47.5%

Kenya

1,692,666

1,638,561

-3.2%

Australia

758,458

852,141

12.3%

Guatemala

208,654

486,027

132.9%

Malawi

367,765

310,424

-15.6%

Vietnam

75,688

43,134

-43.0%

USA

180

17,653

9,707%

Paraguay

3,379

3,969

17.5%

Senegal

0

2,692

    -

China

44,774

1,322

-

Others

41,071

2,727

-97.1%

Total

5,467,878

6,715,580

22.8%

Eurostat (Comext) 01/01-25/10
HS Code 08026200 Fresh or dried macadamia nuts, shelled

 

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