HORTICULTURE: BIWEEKLY INSIGHTS

19 February 2018
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Report No. 22018

As the macadamia season is about to kick off in March, the South African Macadamia Growers’ Association (SAMAC) released the second crop forecast for the 2018 season. Production is currently estimated at 54 000 tons (nut-in shell) for 2018, an increase of approximately 21% from the previous season. 55% of the 2018 crop is expected to be processed to kernel, compared to approximately 49% in 2017. The kernel market is also growing and more volumes of kernel are be exported this season. In addition, the association has received good feedback from growers and a good season is thus expected this year. Prices in the national vegetable market trended upward week-on-week (w/w) as a result of lower volumes and strong market demand. In the national fruit market, prices trended downwards for oranges and bananas, while trending upwards for apples and pears.

Vegetable trends on all Fresh Produce Markets in SA

                                                                          Potato

Potato weekly prices went up by 3% to R4 113/ton as a result of strong demand and lower volumes on the market. Volumes decreased by 10% w/w to 18 700 tons. In the weeks to follow, prices are expected to trend upwards as a result of lower volumes expected on the market.

                                                                          Tomatoes

Tomato prices went up significantly by 33% w/w and reached R 7 360/ton due to a decrease in market volumes. Volumes decreased by 23% w/w to 4 110 tons. Prices are expected to trend downwards in the coming weeks as a result of weak market demand.

                                                                          Onions

Onion prices trended slightly upwards week-on-week due to lower volumes on the market. Onion prices increased by 1% w/w and closed at R5 780/ton. Market volumes reached 7 240 tons, down almost 8% w/w. Prices are expected to increase as a result of strong demand expected in the upcoming weeks.

                                                                         Carrots

Weekly carrot prices trended upwards due to low volumes on the market. Carrot prices reached R3 860/ton, up by almost 23% w/w. Volumes supplied went down by 13% w/w and reached 2 460 tons. High market demand may support prices going forward.

Fruit trends on all Fresh Produce Markets in SA

Pear volumes went up by almost 18% w/w and reached 968 tons, while prices also increased by a slight 1.5% w/w to R6 110/ton. Market volumes are expected to continue improving in the coming weeks and may lead to a downward trend in prices.

• Apple prices went up slightly by 0.6% and reached R8 690/ton while volumes also increased by almost 8% w/w reaching 2 214 tons as a result of strong market demand. In the coming weeks, volumes are expected to continue increasing as the harvest season is in full swing and this may put pressure on prices.

• Banana prices came to R2 770/ton, about 6% lower w/w, as a result of improved market volumes. Volumes amounted to 5 697 tons, up 3% w/w. Market prices are expected to trend downwards as volumes increase.

• Orange prices went down by about 11% w/w, while volumes also went down by a significant 31% to 176 tons w/w due to weak market demand. Smaller volumes are expected in the market, as citrus is still out of season.

Pome Fruit Exports

Hortgro has released its first pome fruit export estimate for the new season. At this point the forecast stands at an 8% decrease for apples and a 3% decrease for pears, about 2.7 million cartons and 498 612 cartons less, respectively.

• Hortgro has pointed out that the areas of Villiersdorp/Vyeboom, the Koue Bokkeveld and the Klein-Karoo are most affected by the drought, but even within these areas, there is variability in water access.

• Apple varieties are expected to decrease: Golden Delicious (-9%), Royal Gala/Gala (-4%), Granny Smith (-8%) and Topred/Starking (-15%).

• A decrease in pear export volumes of Williams Bon Chretien (-7%) is expected due to smaller fruit size. On the other hand, only export volumes of Packham’s Triumph (+1%), are expected to increase compared to the previous season.

• By the end of week 5, almost 183 364 cartons (12.5kg equivalent) of apples had been exported (YTD) and pear exports YTD of 564 385 cartons are 33% lower than last year's YTD volumes.

• Hortgro reports that a tough season in terms of grower returns and profitability levels is anticipated as a result of the strengthening of the rand against the major currencies (US Dollar, UK Pound Sterling and the Euro).

Stone Fruit Exports

Apricots that were exported in week 5 reached 710 cartons (4.75 kg), all volumes were shipped to the Middle East. Apricot volumes seem to be slowing down.

• Nectarine shipments in week 5 amounted to 135 646 cartons (2.5 kg), 32% lower than the same time last season. Most nectarine exports were destined for the UK (55%) and Europe (41%). Exports are expected to slow down around end of March as the harvest comes to an end.

• Peach exports volumes shipped in week 5 reached 31 565 cartons (2.5 kg), just 18% lower than last year’s YTD volumes. Exports were mostly destined for the UK and the Middle East. Peach volumes are expected to slow down in the few weeks to come.

• Plum exports in week 5 came to 528 048 cartons (5.25 kg), down 43% compared to the same time last season, due to the fact that the beginning of harvest (Oct) was about 7 -10 days late. Over 50% of the exports were shipped to Europe, other major importers include the Middle East (19%) and UK (15%).

Source: Standard Bank

Disclaimer: Standard Bank South Africa accepts no responsibility for any application, use or interpretation of the information contained in this report and disclaims all liability for direct, indirect or consequential damages resulting from the use of this report.


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