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Macadamias: good prospects for 2024

April 11, 2024 at 10:32 AM , Der AUDITOR
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CAPE TOWN/REUS. According to the INC, macadamia production will increase in the main producing countries and market players are optimistic. A major case of fraud was recently uncovered in South Africa.

Significantly larger crop in South Africa

Macadamias South Africa (SAMAC) announced that estimates for the 2023 macadamia crop in South Africa are 79,700 mt (in-shell, 3.5% moisture content) – 13% more than in 2022. It is still too early to give reliable estimates for the 2024 crop, but market players expect further growth and initial cautious forecasts are 92,000 mt. This is mainly due to the new plantations that are slowly starting to bear fruit. However, the total quantity available in 2024 is still likely to be lower than last year, as there are significantly fewer carry-over stocks, as reported by the International Nut and Dried Fruit Council (INC). The quality of the crop is currently rated as good and the prices are also likely to appeal to buyers, which is why demand for the new crop is also likely to be good.

However, there is also bad news, as farmer's weekly reports. For example, SAMAC was defrauded of the equivalent of €200,000, bringing back into focus difficulties in the macadamia industry such as nut theft, which is usually attributed to criminals and syndicates. farmer's weekly states that SAMAC's efforts to dismantle these networks led to co-operation with individuals posing as operatives from the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks), who subsequently absconded with funds and equipment allocated for the investigation. The association filed a complaint. Although the fraud is said to have taken place between 2016 and 2020, it has only now come to light.

Optimism in Australia

The Australian Macadamia Society (AMS) currently estimates the Australian crop 2024 at 56,000 mt of in-shell macadamias (3.5% moisture content).This represents an increase of 16% compared to the previous year - 48,400 mt were harvested in 2023, as yields were lower than hoped. For this year's crop, all major growing regions experienced good weather conditions in spring, which greatly favoured the flowering phase according to the INC. Market players are optimistic for a good season.

Global production on the rise

Overall, the INC estimates this year's global macadamia production at 335,700 mt, 6.4% higher than in 2023, with South Africa and Australia occupying the top two places among the most important producers, followed by China and Kenya. Malawi (-32.2% to 8,500 mt) and Brazil (-15.4% to 6,500 mt), however, will suffer significant losses this year.

Global macadamia production, in-shell, in mt

Country

2023

2024

Diff.

South Africa

79,700

92,000

15.4%

Australia

48,400

56,000

15.7%

China

67,900

68,500

0.9%

Kenya

42,500

46,000

8.2%

USA

15,100

15,000

-0.7%

Guatemala

14,500

15,000

3.4%

Vietnam

9,000

10,000

11.1%

Malawi

12,540

8,500

-32.2%

Brazil

7,685

6,500

-15.4%

Colombia

1,100

1,100

0.0%

Others

17,000

17,100

0.6%

Total

315,425

335,700

6.4%

INC, March 2024

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