Nuts

Macadamias: floods damage Australia's crop

March 15, 2022 12:43 PM, Der AUDITOR
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REUS/CANBERRA. After the crop prospects for Australia had looked good at first, heavy rainfall and flooding in recent days have led to massive damage. It is not yet possible to estimate the extent of the damage, although initial forecasts have already been made.

Expected production increase in South Africa

In South Africa, market players are still extremely optimistic about the 2022 crop. According to Macadamias South Africa (SAMAC), the current estimates are 57,723 mt of inshell macadamias, which would correspond to an increase of a good 8% compared to last year. New forecasts are to be published at the end of the month. In 2021, the crop was relatively low, mainly because water use was restricted in some parts of the country. This, combined with the hot temperatures, had led to drought stress among the macadamia trees.

Stable market in Kenya

In Kenya, the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC) expects production to increase by 4.4% this year, with current estimates at 41,500 mt of inshell macadamias. The Nut Processors Associates of Kenya (NutPak) also report a stable market, supported by high demand from China, and good weather conditions. The new season is expected to start as early as the next few days and the first shipments are scheduled for mid-April. On the European spot market, the Kenyan macadamias, Style 2S, 13-16 mm currently cost EUR 12.95/kg FCA Spain.

Macadamia production, inshell, in mt

Country

2021

2022

Diff.

South Africa

53,320

57,723

8.3%

Australia

51,500

54,930

6.7%

Kenya

39,750

41,500

4.4%

China

32,000

50,000

56.3%

Guatemala

14,750

15,500

5.1%

USA

14,700

14,400

-2.0%

Malawi

8,000

10,400

30.0%

Vietnam

6,700

7,700

14.9%

Brazil

5,500

6,500

18.2%

Colombia

1,300

1,050

-19.2%

Others

16,000

16,900

5.6%

Total

243,520

276,603

13.6%

Quelle: INC, March 2022

High crop losses in Australia

The situation in Australia is currently more complicated. Already at the beginning of the year, severe storms in the growing regions of New South Wales led to crop losses, while producers in Queensland were largely spared. On this basis, the crop estimates of the Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) were 54,930 mt of inshell macadamias; this figure is also found in the current INC data. In the past few days, however, there has been further heavy rain and flooding, this time affecting not only New South Wales but also parts of Queensland. It is still difficult to estimate how high the new losses will be, but first cautious forecasts are around 10%. Jolyon Burnett, Managing Director of the AMS, commented as follows:

“As these regions are only in the early stages of harvest, there was minimal crop on the ground when the events hit. It is however the challenges our growers are now facing with orchard clean up that is of most concern. Harvest may now be delayed in those affected growing regions while growers clean up their orchard floor, and this could further impact the crop”.

The largest growing region, Bundaberg, which accounts for about 46% of the Australian crop, has not been affected by the recent storms and harvesting is in full swing here. Updated crop estimates are due in May.

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