Fresh produce group Salix Fruits has said that the Southern Hemisphere’s orange season is set to end shortly with what it has called a "positive balance" when compared with the previous campaign.
"The balance shows a recovery of 11 per cent in the volumes of Argentine oranges, with 4m boxes of 15kg shipped in 2021," said Shaun Swart, country manager for South Africa at Salix Fruits.
"South Africa maintains its volume of 71.3m boxes of oranges already loaded, and will reach 82m boxes, 3 per cent higher than 2020, being the undisputed leader of the Southern Hemisphere," Swart continued.
The numbers, obtained by Federcitrus, CGA, and Asoex Chile, also indicated that Chile would ship 6m boxes by the end of the season, topping last year's numbers by 5 per cent.
"This country in recent years has become an important player in the supply of oranges for the Northern Hemisphere," said Swart.
This year was marked by logistical difficulties, he noted. "The lack of containers, the congestion in the destination ports of the main consuming countries, added to the serious problems in South African ports, made logistics the predominant factor in the campaign. Transportation cost increases have been a 'black swan' for the sector, eroding profitability."
Despite these challenges, orange volumes at Salix Fruits have climbed 21 per cent this year when compared with 2020.
Swart said the company would continue to offer Argentine and South African oranges to its customers in the Middle East, Russia, Canada, and Asia for the next six weeks.
"The pandemic caused vitamin C to be a product appreciated by the whole world, and that led to an increase in consumption," he explained.