South Africa’s 2022/23 Stone Fruit Campaign is Estimated to Improve — Tridge
South Africa's 2022/23 Stone Fruit Campaign is Estimated to Improve - Tridge
After a very disappointing 2021/22 season, South Africa is anticipating a much-improved stonefruit 2022/23 campaign…
After a very disappointing 2021/22 season, South Africa (SA) is anticipating a much-improved stonefruit crop year for the 2022/23 campaign. According to the South African Deciduous Fruit Grower Association (HORTGRO), South African stone fruit producers and exporters are anticipating a much better stonefruit campaign than the one experienced last season. There are mainly two reasons for HORTGO to have a positive projection next season. The first one is the early seasonal forecast that has been recently released, where there is a projected volume increase in all stone fruits products. The second, according to HORTGRO and other market sources, is that logistical bottlenecks have been addressed and shouldn’t be a factor in slowing down the supply as they did in the 2021/22 season.
The new South African stone fruit season kicked off in early October and will continue until April next year. HORTGO’s early season forecast has already been released, and despite previous concerns, export volumes are projected to rise for all stone fruit products. Initial stone fruit export predictions for plums and peaches will increase YoY by 4% to 86 thousand MT and 6.5 thousand MT, respectively. Followed by nectarines with a 15% YoY increase in exports at 23.6 thousand MT and finally, a 9% YoY increase for apricots at 3 thousand MT.
The disappointing 2021/22 season didn’t force producers to abandon crops or reduce the planting area. According to Elton Greeve, Tridge’s Origination Manager in South Africa, the planting area for stone fruit has overall maintained stable or has increased in some cases.
“ The area planted for nectarines has increased, while peaches and apricots have maintained their planting are stable,” he noted.
It is expected that the area planted for plums will stabilize and might even decline slightly going forward.
However, as of now, for Mr. Greeve, this won’t represent a supply issue as “ several new nectarine and plum orchards that were planted over the last five years will continue to support volume growth and enhance fruit quality and size,” he added.
The failure of the 2021/22 season was largely due to the logistics and trade bottlenecks that the industry went through the entire season. Therefore, exporters in South Africa remain concerned about these same obstacles slowing down the new campaign. However, for the new season, according to HORTGO, supply bottlenecks have been addressed so that the offering of South African stone fruit would be improved.
According to Mr. Greeve, supply is expected to be much more stable, reliable, and on time given that logistical bottlenecks have been addressed. This will directly lead to SA stone fruit arriving in great condition to the different markets globally.
“ Recent strikes at South African ports were over, and the immediate focus was on recovery and removing the backlog from the system as quickly as possible,” he added.
Originally published at https://www.tridge.com on November 7, 2022.