South African

South African Orange and OJ Production

Daniel Cooper Crop Forecast, International

South African

South African orange and orange juice (OJ) production are both forecast to decline slightly in 2023–24 compared to the prior season, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS).


Orange production in South Africa is forecast at 1.62 million metric tons (MMT). That’s a decrease of 1% from the prior season based on a decline in area harvested.

The area under orange production is forecast to decline by 0.5% in 2023–24, to 43,700 hectares. New plantings are limited and appear insufficient to replace the orchards that are aging out of production. Sources indicate that producers are limiting expansion due to concerns regarding export market access, especially with regard to European Union phytosanitary requirements.

Limpopo province is the leading orange-growing region in South Africa, accounting for 50% of

total area. It is followed by the Eastern Cape (24%) and Western Cape (15%) provinces.

Valencias account for two-thirds of total orange area, with navels accounting for the other third.

USDA FAS forecasts that in 2023–24 orange exports from South Africa will strengthen by 2% to 1.37 MMT.

Although high volumes of exportable fruit and reduced shipping costs would indicate potential for stronger growth, industry sources assert that the ports of Durban and Cape Town are in worse condition than last year and pose a threat for the upcoming season. Cape Town experiences breakdowns in gantries used to load and unload ships, and this leads to increased congestion. Industry continues to engage with port authorities to resolve anticipated delays and food spoilage that may occur due to breakdowns in port infrastructure.

South Africa exports oranges to more than 100 countries around the world, but the European Union remains its largest export market, accounting for approximately 31% of orange export share.


South African OJ production is forecast to decrease by 3% in 2023–24, to 31,000 MT. This is based on the expected slight decline in orange fruit production and increased routing of oranges to the export market.

OJ exports are projected to decrease by 7% in 2023–24, to 28,000 MT, based on the tighter supply.

South Africa exports orange juice mainly to countries in Southern Africa, including Eswatini, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Zimbabwe. However, Europe also remains an important market for South African OJ.

See the full USDA FAS 2023–24 report on South African citrus here.

Source: USDA FAS

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