The 2023 crop of 77 532 tonnes is 12.6% higher than the 2022 crop of 68 840 tonnes. Compared to the 2022 crop, the industry’s production increased by 8 692 tonnes in 2023.
In spite of the challenging market conditions that the macadamia industry in South Africa is currently facing, there is still a bright spot to be found. South Africa continues to maintain its position as the largest macadamia-producing country in the world, a title that it has held for many years. Despite the numerous obstacles that the industry has encountered, including weather-related challenges, pests and diseases, and economic uncertainty, the country’s macadamia farmers have managed to remain resilient and dedicated to producing high-quality nuts. As a result, South Africa continues to be a major player in the global macadamia market, exporting its products to countries around the world.
Crop Forecast 2023
The SAMAC Handlers have forecasted the crop to be 77,532 tonnes for 2023 which is subject to change.
An update on our growing areas
The excessive rainfall in certain macadamia-growing areas led to difficulties in accessing orchards which were problematic for growers. The lack of sunlight would also have negatively impacted bee pollination and photosynthesis in the orchards, which are essential for healthy nut development. There was limited opportunity during excessive rainfall to take preventative measures or control stink bug populations. The overall quality of the nuts may have been affected, which is especially crucial during this season. Quality is paramount for growers, as it directly impacts marketability, consumer satisfaction, and financial returns.
Given these challenges, it would be essential for growers to closely monitor their orchards, implement effective pest management strategies, and be prepared to take appropriate action when weather conditions are favourable for stink bug proliferation. Additionally, exploring alternative pollination methods or protective measures during periods of adverse weather could help mitigate the impacts of excessive rainfall and lack of sunlight on quality. Collaborating with agricultural experts and extension services could also provide valuable insights and solutions for managing the challenges posed by stink bugs and weather-related difficulties during future seasons.
The fact that stink bug damage occurred before growers could access their orchards exacerbates the problem, as there was limited opportunity during excessive rainfall to take preventative measures or control the stink bug populations.
Considering the specific context mentioned, the damages caused by stink bugs could have resulted in the loss of yield and possibly affected the appearance and taste of macadamias.
Given these challenges, it would be essential for growers to closely monitor their orchards, implement effective pest management strategies, and be prepared to take appropriate action when weather conditions are favourable for stink bug proliferation. Additionally, exploring alternative pollination methods or protective measures during periods of adverse weather could help mitigate the impacts of excessive rainfall and lack of sunlight on quality.
Adaptation and resilience are key to navigating through such agricultural disruptions and ensuring sustainable production.
SAMAC Membership Status
Global macadamia production
2022 Distribution of macadamias – DNIS and kernel
Approximately 98% of South Africa’s macadamia produce is exported. According to corrected figures received from the South African Revenue Service, the total value of macadamia exports in 2022 was R4.6 Billion.
Kernel distributed converted to an in-shell basis of 32%
Exported macadamia kernel (included local distribution) totalled to 38 689 tonnes converted to an in-shell basis at 32%* crack out, which was approximately 64% of the total macadamia crop exported in 2022.
Dry nut in shell (DNIS) exports
Dry nut in shell (DNIS) macadamia exports (included local distribution) totalled to 22 162 tonnes, which was approximately 36% of the total macadamia crop exported in 2022. 97% was destined for East Asia and Southeast Asia (China) and 3% to Europe Union including UK and North America.
Total exports for kernel (included local distribution) was 12 380 tonnes. Approximately 43% were exported to North America including Canada, 32% to Europe Union including UK, 15% to Southeast Asia (China) and 2% to the Middle East and 4% to Japan.
Statistical report 2023
Statistical Report 2023
Download the Statistical Report 2023
Established macadamia hectares and tree information
SAMAC has concluded its tree census for 2022 amongst nurseries and farmers who propagate their own trees.
The macadamia industry is an expeditious growing industry with 9 148 new macadamia hectares planted in 2022 compared to the 6 235 new hectares planted in 2021.
KwaZulu-Natal remained for the fifth consecutive year the province that established the most new hectares, followed by Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the other regions consisting of the Eastern- and Western Cape and a small grouping in Gauteng.
In terms of new hectares macadamias established, KwaZulu-Natal planted 3 705 new hectares in 2022 which is 1 041 hectares more than 2021. Mpumalanga has established 3 403 hectares in 2022 compared to 2 233 in 2021. According to our tree census the Eastern Cape’s growth is not as positive as expected and the Western Cape is growing at a gradual pace.
When the growth by the number of trees sold is taken into consideration, there are approximately 65 693 hectares of macadamias established in South Africa.
The tree census completed by the New England University in Australia showed 76 348 hectares are established in South Africa.
Note = Not all nurseries and growers submitted figures.
SAMAC research on orchard mapping, macadamia trees and cultivars
SAMAC is busy with the following research projects regarding orchard mapping, trees and cultivars:
National mapping of macadamia orchards: A census of the number of hectares under macadamia production, yield and tree age modeling will also be conducted to improve crop forecasts.
Cultivar evaluation trials: This long-term project that evaluates new imported cultivars, selections within the industry and other cultivars grown in South Africa which have never undergone field trials in different sites in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. The project was initiated to ensure that all cultivars are trialed in different production regions and altitudes. Yields and quality characteristics at one location cannot be extrapolated to what will be observed at another. This will allow growers to make informed decisions based on yield and quality potential in a growing region when selecting cultivars for planting.
Genomic technologies for macadamia tree improvement (Phase 2): This projects speaks to SAMAC’s mandate to support the industry through the development of the technology required for breeding. During 2021, a genotyping service was developed at the University of Pretoria which allows interested persons to identify the parentage of trees/crosses etc. The next phase focuses on identifying the genes which underlie traits such as thin shells, precociousness etc., as well as the genetic markers associated with these traits for marker-assisted breeding. The South-African industry needs precocious cultivars adapted to our climate and pest and disease challenges, with high yields and quality to remain competitive.
Nursery-based rootstock compatibility trials: A nursery cultivar compatibility trial was initiated after it was observed that some cultivars were potentially not compatible with clonal 695 rootstocks.
Cultivar and environmental effects on fatty acid profiles and quality in macadamias: The shelf life of macadamia kernels declines throughout the season and varies between growing regions and cultivars. This study is investigating the fatty acid profiles of different cultivars in various growing regions and how this profile changes over the season and the effects on shelf life. Differences in fatty acid profiles between cultivars and within cultivars as the season progresses, as well as a cultivar from different geographic regions, has been observed.
SAMAC Loss Factor averages
This benchmark only reflects the results for participating handlers and growers. It is 90% representative of the South African macadamia industry.
All Eastern Cape and Western Cape growers were benchmarked collectively and will visually be shown as the Eastern and Western Cape. The Letaba area include growers within the Tzaneen and Letsitele valley and closely surrounding areas. The Levubu area include growers producting around the Soutpansberg area, including Louis Trichardt and Thohoyandou. The Gauten and Highveld region includes growers from Modimole, Mookgophong and Mokopane.
The reports were generated by Source BI (Pty) Ltd.