Nuts

Macadamias: the situation is improving

June 19, 2024 at 12:44 PM , Der AUDITOR
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NAIROBI/CAPE TOWN. After macadamia prices reached an all-time low in 2023, market players are more optimistic for the coming season. Global demand is rising steadily, which should also stabilise prices.

Global demand continues to rise

Macadamias have become the most expensive nut in the world in recent decades, primarily because the constantly growing global demand cannot be adequately met. Fresh Plaza reports, with reference to Bizna Kenya, that demand is increasing by around 8% annually. Kenya, which is the world's third largest producer after Australia and South Africa, has a market share of 13%, which corresponds to around 7,750 mt on kernel basis. Over 90% of Kenya's production is destined for export, and the nuts are supplied to the USA, the EU, China, Japan and Canada, among others. For some years now, processing companies in the African country have been increasingly trying to support local farmers by sourcing their raw materials locally, then processing and exporting them. The product range is constantly being expanded and new products such as roasted nuts and nut oils are increasingly coming into focus.

China as the most important buyer

Macadamia prices in South Africa are recovering from the historic lows of last year, as reported by Macadamias South Africa (SAMAC). The harvest is almost complete here and market players are optimistic for the 2024/25 season, even though industry experts are still keeping a critical eye on price developments. Current crop estimates are 90,135 mt of dried in-shell macadamias, which would represent an increase of 14% compared to last year's 78,091 mt. South Africa could thus defend its position as the world's number one macadamia producer.

Global Macadamias, a major processor and exporter based in South Africa, has spent the last few months travelling with its sales team to all major macadamia markets in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States. “The feedback we received was consistent: demand has increased, leading to higher prices”, Roelof van Rooyen, director of Global Macadamias told SAMAC. Across the market, there are indications that prices for shelled and unshelled macadamias will increase by 10 to 30%, depending on the type, size and crackout style. Van Rooyen explains that after global macadamia prices reached historic lows in 2023, Chinese buyers in particular cleared their warehouses and bought up large stocks.

The low macadamia prices paid last year prompted many farmers to sell directly to China, the world's largest buyer of in-shell macadamia nuts. The advantage was that buyers often offered immediate payment and were therefore able to help cash-strapped farmers quickly.

German imports increase significantly

Germany's macadamia imports increased by more than 20% in the period September-April, which is also in line with rising global demand. South Africa remains the most important supplier here too, increasing its shipments to Germany by a respectable 36.9%. Kenya, in second place, also increased its exports to Germany by almost 30%. In percentage terms, the increase in deliveries from Malawi is particularly striking – the East African country shipped 1,700% more shelled macadamias to Germany than in the previous year.

Macadamia* imports, Germany, in mt

Supplier

2022/23

2023/24

Diff.

South Africa

832

1,139

36.9%

Kenya

712

921

29.4%

Netherlands

356

409

14.9%

Malawi

15

270

1700.0%

Australia

0

97

-

Others

507

102

-79.9%

Total

2,422

2,938

21.3%

Federal Statistical Office of Germany / Sep-Apr

*08026200 Fresh or dried macadamia nuts, shelled

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