Interesting insights into SA food exports

Agri SA’s annual Snapshot of South African Agriculture reveals fascinating insights into where the country’s fruit and vegetable exports are going.

Agricultural exports represented 10.8% of total South African exports in 2017, and came to R127.69-billion.

The report counts South Africa among the top exporters of a number of products.

South Africa is the second largest exporter of citrus fruit (fresh or dried) in the world, even though it is ranked 14th in citrus production. Citrus exports amounted to R18.6-billion.

Ranking 21st in the world in wool production, South African is remarkably the world’s third-biggest exporter, bringing in R4.7-billion.

There is a closer correlation between production and exports of pome fruit (apples and pears), with South African ranked sixth in production and fourth in exports (R7.6-billion).

Also lower down in the rankings for stone fruit (apricots, plums, peaches) production, coming in at 20th, South Africa is sixth in terms of exports (R1.7-billion).

As for which countries are the top importers of South African products, the Netherlands ranked number one in 2017 with R11.56-billion

As for which countries are the top importers of South African products, the Netherlands ranked number one in 2017 with R11.56-billion. Second was the UK at R9.7-billion, and perhaps surprisingly, Mozambique was third at R6.5-billion.

Aside from a cluster of other European countries which rank as major importers of South African products, including Germany, France, Italy and Belgium, a number of other Southern African countries also feature.

Zimbabwe imports R4.4-billion of South African products and Zambia is also a big importer at R3.6-billion. Other major importers are Angola, Kenya, Malawi and Mauritius.

In the Far East, Hong Kong leads the way with R4.2-billion worth of South African imports, Japan is at R3.5-billion and Korea R573-million.

The United States imports R4.1-billion SA products and Canada R2-billion.

Saudi Arabia leads in the Middle East with R1.76-billion.

Citrus far outstrips other produce, with the Netherlands importing the bulk of it at 400,000 tons

As for what products are favoured, citrus far outstrips other produce, with the Netherlands importing the bulk of it at 400,000 tons. The UK is second at nearly 200,000 tons, and the United Arab Emirates and Russian Federation close behind.

The Netherlands also imports most of SA’s table grapes (140,000 tons), with the UK second (80,000 tons).

As for SA wine, the UK and Germany are the biggest importers. France, the US and Canada are also in the top eight.

Mozambique is by far the biggest importer of SA potatoes, tomatoes and onions

Mozambique is by far the biggest importer of SA potatoes, at 70,000 tons, tomatoes at 18,000 tons and onions at 55,000 tons. Other regional neighbours follow behind.

Top importer the Netherlands is also the biggest importer of sweet potatoes at 1,600 tons, four times as many as second-ranked Namibia, with the UK third.

Botswana favours our lettuce and cucumbers, with Namibia in second place.

Namibia, Botswana and Angola lead the way with garlic imports. But the Netherlands also features on that list.

SA carrots are also favoured by our regional neighbours.

The UK is the biggest importer of SA apples, at 160,000 tons, almost four times as much as second-placed Malaysia. Nigeria is third.

For apricot imports, the UAE leads the way, with the UK and Netherlands behind. The same three countries are the top importers of SA peaches, but the UK imports the most.

The Netherlands is the biggest importer of SA avocados, with 30,000 tons, three times as much as the UK. The Netherlands also leads the way in pear imports, with the Russian Federation second.

Our bananas are favoured by direct neighbours, while Ghana and the UAE like our mangos and guavas.

The top importer of SA pineapples is Swaziland, at nearly 2,000 tons. Botswana is second and Saudi Arabia third.

The full report is available at https://www.agrisa.co.za/news/812838f9562a8c9075f3cbc796697c62

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