1 June 2020

A look at packing of South African Citrus

Our very own, Neil Truter, Quality Assurance, and Grower Relations Manager took this incredible aerial shot of Groep 91 Uitvoer’s Riverside Packhouse in South Africa.

Video: Groep 91 Uitvoer’s Riverside Packhouse in South Africa

Now two months into the new season and there is still cautious optimism that can be seen under growers and packers alike. Problems and concerns that were presented as a result of COVID-19 have been handled extremely well by all stakeholders in the South African citrus industry. There are no major disruptions at this stage.

Shipping challenges presented at the beginning of this season seem to have faded and Durban and Cape Town harbour are keeping up well with Citrus shipment movement. The decline in normal import and export products may be releasing some of the pressure usually experienced by the ports.

South Africa is still expecting a bumper crop of 141.2 million cartons which is 13.7 million cartons more than 2019. Their Star Ruby Grapefruit season is in full swing! Since our last update on South African Citrus on April 8th, estimates on Grapefruit were adjusted downwards by 2.1 million cartons, making it the only citrus type to decline against 2019.Although the crop yield is lower than originally estimated, the quality is quite possibly the best they’ve ever produced!

Lemons and Soft Citrus are showing the biggest growth, with Lemon quantities increasing to 26.4 million cartons (19.2% higher than 2019). Meanwhile, Soft Citrus increases to 23.3 million cartons (27% higher than 2019). Navels are expected to increase to 26.5 million cartons which is 9% higher than 2019 while Valencia increases to 50.4 or 7.6% more than 2019.