Better mar­ket­ing vi­tal to pre­vent macadamia price cor­rec­tion

Farmer's Weekly (South Africa) - - Weekly News Wrap -

While macadamia farm­ers have had a good run in re­cent years, achiev­ing record high prices for their crops, the volatil­ity of the rand and an ex­pected bumper crop in China are cre­at­ing un­cer­tainty that the good for­tune will last.

Since South Africa has tra­di­tion­ally sent al­most half of its crop as nut-in­shell (NIS) to China, the sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment made in lo­cal or­chards is caus­ing con­cern about a pos­si­ble glut in the mar­ket in fu­ture.

How­ever, speak­ing at the re­cent Macadamias South Africa (SAMAC) in­for­ma­tion day in White River, Mpumalanga, Myles Os­born, SAMAC’s com­mer­cial director, noted that on a re­cent trip to China it be­came ev­i­dent that although the coun­try was in­vest­ing heav­ily in es­tab­lish­ing macadamia or­chards, it was not nec­es­sar­ily for com­mer­cial purposes. “Macadamias are known as the poverty al­le­vi­a­tion tree. The govern­ment is pro­vid­ing sub­si­dies of up to US$2 000/ha [about R28 600/ha) for peas­ant farm­ers to es­tab­lish or­chards to cre­ate an in­come. But [the use of] fer­tilis­ers and pest con­trol is low and we are not ex­pect­ing the kind of qual­ity that will com­pete with South African nuts.”

He noted that there were rumours in China that the im­port tar­iff for South African nuts could be re­duced from 12% to 9%, which would give South African nuts a boost in that mar­ket.

In­dus­try bod­ies in var­i­ous coun­tries had also agreed to pool their re­sources to cre­ate global mar­ket­ing cam­paigns to pre­vent price cor­rec­tions, he added.

Cou­pled with the mar­ket­ing cam­paigns, Os­born said pro­duc­ing good-qual­ity nuts was of the ut­most im­por­tance to in­crease de­mand and main­tain the high prices.

Juan Win­ter, man­ag­ing director of Source, said the av­er­age sound ker­nel re­cov­ery in South Africa had im­proved from 29,3% in 2013 to 32,3% in 2018, while the un­sound ker­nel re­cov­ery rate de­creased from 4,2% to 2,9% dur­ing the same pe­riod.

“Early and late stinkbug has had a sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect on un­sound ker­nel re­cov­ery. The Tza­neen area is see­ing an up­ward trend in un­sound ker­nel re­cov­ery [due to] stinkbug [in­fes­ta­tions].”

On a cul­ti­var level, Win­ter noted that Beau­mont had the low­est in­ci­dent of early and late stinkbug.

“Hy­brids are more af­fected by late stinkbug while the in­te­gri­fo­lia va­ri­eties show the big­gest vul­ner­a­bil­ity to early and late stinkbug.” – Lindi Botha

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