Industry Statistics

Macadamia Production

The 2022 crop of 68 840 tonnes is 28,5% higher than the 2021 crop of 53 858 tonnes.  Compared to the 2021 crop, the industry’s production increased with 15 255 tonnes in 2022.

Despite the difficult market conditions being experienced, the silver lining remains that South Africa is still the largest macadamia producing country in the world.

Crop Forecast 2022

SAMAC is currently busy with a crop forecast for 2023 amongst our Handlers which will be communicated to members in due course.

Province Feedback

The feedback from our respective provinces is relatively positive and SAMAC has hope that 2023 will be an excellent macadamia year.


The start of the 2022 production season was hot and dry and although rain occurred on the open flowers, farmers sprayed to mitigate flower diseases.  Some farmers reported disease problems with especially late-season flowers, but it appears not to be the norm for the production region.

Conditions appeared to favour pests and high numbers of stink bug and nut borers have been recorded early in the season. The amount of new stink bug species present on the early season nuts also seems to be more than usual. Thrip numbers were low, and al the macadamia felted coccid is now widespread in the Barberton/Nelspruit/White River area.  The severity of the pest seemed to be tempered by the wet conditions. Flowering and nut set was good in most of the Mpumalanga production areas.


Average maximum and minimum temperatures in KwaZulu-Natal have been higher than normally experienced and although higher temperatures were recorded in some areas, regular rainfall resulted in good soil moisture and higher relative humidity across all production areas which resulted in conditions favouring flowering and early nut set.

The 2022 season has seen a very good flowering across most cultivars and was followed by a very good nut set across all cultivars. What possibly also contributed to the increased nut set was the time of flowering. Evidence of the benefits of planting various cultivars in close proximity to allow for cross-pollination was seen in the excellent nut set and the flowering and nut set has been much more uniform throughout the season, especially for Beaumont and with no cross pollinators, it seems to have a noticeably lower nut set percentage.

Thrips damage on the new flush has been relatively low and the overall lower levels of thrips could be due to a combination of reasons such as more attention being given to grassed (including weeds) inter rows, well-timed sprays, intermittent early rains and possibly a slight reduction in fertiliser use, and a rising emphasis on soil health which will increase the trees ability to resist pests.

Coconut bugs did explode early in the season, especially on the North Coast, along with similar “look-a-likes” like Plinachtus species doing similar damage. Several Boerias-type stinkbug species have also been noted in scouting alongside the common yellow-edged and two-spotted bugs, particularly on the South Coast. As temperatures and humidity increase, stink bug numbers can also be expected to rise. Macadamia nut borer was once again high and is on the priority list the past season and an increase in borer damage has been noted on younger nuts this season across all areas. Significant numbers of early-season eggs have been found in very early nut set clusters. Egg scouting has been complicated by the very good nut set resulting in tighter nut clusters as well as the main nut set being that much higher up in the canopy compared to previous seasons.


The past season has been a rough year for all growers across South Africa with price increases in fertilizer, fuel, input costs, etc., and the reduced prices in the market. Limpopo growers are on the tips of their seats, keeping a close eye on the market feedback, hoping for the best prices possible.

Thus far, this province has not had any natural disasters which looks like another great crop and remains spared. The production regions in Limpopo have generally received good early-season rains leaving the soil moist, which could contribute to the better yields observed, however, this contributes to high pest numbers already observed during November in the orchards.  Average October and November temperatures were well above 20°C and an estimated 15% increase compared to the last season in macadamia tonnes could come out of Limpopo for the next season. The nuts are also generally bigger, which contributes to the increased forecast.

Western Cape /
George area

The macadamia production along the Southern Cape Coast experienced good yields as most farmers surpassed their estimates. With only a handful of farms in full production, the area is set to expand exponentially in the next few years. Good yields and high crack outs are the drivers for expansion.

 Flowering thus far seems more in sync than previous years and the early integ varieties have set well with the good rains the area had. The later varieties (Beaumont, A4, and N2) are also at early to full bloom and flowering is in sync this season which is very helpful for cross-pollination.  Dry and windy weather also aids pollination of the Beaumont cultivar which is notorious for its poor self-pollination in this area.

 Reports of macadamia nut borer losses were a great concern this past season and producers should be scouting diligently for stinkbug and nut borer complex. Farmers are generally very hopeful about next season and with a good flowering and nut-set start, it is anticipated another good season. 

(Sources: Andrew Sheard, Anton Smit, Elsje Joubert, Braam van Wyk and Schalk Schoeman)

Production and 2023 forecast (TBC) and percentage of decline or increase in macadamia production

Estimated world macadamia production

SAMAC Membership Status

Global macadamia production

2021 Distribution of macadamias – DNIS and kernel

Classification of the various countries

2021 Exports and SA markets of DNIS and kernel

SAMAC Statistical Report 2022
Imports in key consumption markets 2022

Established macadamia hectares and tree information

SAMAC has concluded its tree census for 2021 amongst nurseries and farmers who propagate their own trees. 

The macadamia industry is an expeditious growing industry with 6 235 new macadamia hectares planted in 2021, compared to the 5 351 new hectares planted in 2020.

KwaZulu-Natal remained for the fourth 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 2 691 new hectares in 2021 which is 372 hectares more than 2020.  Mpumalanga has established 475 more hectares in 2021 compared to 2020, with a total of 2 233 new hectares 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 56 368 hectares of macadamias 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

2021 – It is evident that the Limpopo province consistently produces lower Sound Kernel Recovery compared to Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Western Cape, and Eastern Cape. However, due to a shift in pruning practices since 2019, damage due to stinkbugs has been decreasing substantially, which helped the Limpopo region to decrease its overall USKR. Tree age plays a major role in total kernel recovery, as this has a direct effect on the ability to manage pests as young trees are smaller and easier to spray effectively. The lower Total Kernel Recovery is also driven by thicker shells in Limpopo, compared to the very thin shells realised at coastal areas in KwaZulu-Natal, leading to much higher total kernel recovery.

DIS Yield