Statistics on the Southern African Macadamia Industry
Updated 5 December 2019
According to the latest tree sales data received from nurseries for 2018, the Macadamia industry is still growing rapidly. In 2018 the Southern African Macadamia Industry planted 6 300 new hectares Macadamias.
Mpumalanga remains the major production region in South Africa, still with the highest growth rate. The North Coast of KwaZulu-Natal has responded to their appetite for macadamias and new plantings in this province is increasing substantially. In terms of new hectares macadamias established, KwaZulu-Natal planted 2 370 new hectares in 2018. When the growth by the number of trees sold is taken into consideration, there is already approximately 37 000 hectares established in South Africa. Macadamia production in South Africa has increased exponentially and the rate of production is expected to increase even more in the near future due to an exponential increase in new plantings annually.
‘Beaumont 695’ remains the most widely planted cultivar. ‘A4’ has gained much popularity in recent years. Other commonly planted cultivars include ‘816’, ‘814’, ‘Nelmak 2’, ‘A4’ and ‘788’.
Historic Macadamia production
More than 95% 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 2018 was R4 billion.
Exported macadamia kernel totalled 22 307 tonnes when converted to an in shell basis at 32%* crack out and saleable kernel, which was approximately 48% of the total exported macadamia crop in 2018 on a volume basis.
Nut in shell (NIS)
Nut in shell (NIS) macadamia exports totalled 34 243 tonnes with a monetary value of R2 452 826 that was destined mainly for Asia.
Total exports for kernel was 6 615 tonnes at R 1 486 670 080. North America absorbed the largest quantity of South African macadamias (51% of the exported kernel), followed by Europe and Asia (refer to figure below).
The weighted average price for kernel was R224.72 per kg and NIS R75.58 per kg. Exported macadamia kernel was 6 615.61 tonnes and when converted to an in shell basis at 32% kernel recovery** the price was R67.42 per kg. The overall average price of macadamias expressed on an in shell basis was R71.63 per kg.
* Data received from SARS were corrected.
** 32% is an arbitrary value (based on the SAMAC loss factor benchmark) and this figure will differ between areas and individual exporters. This could have a significant impact on the total tonnage of kernel on a NIS basis and the weighted average price per kg.