Company says opening of market to South African avocados is an exciting development, as industry’s access widens in Asia
Following confirmation in 2023 that China has granted access to avocados from South Africa, supplier Westfalia Fruit says it anticipates the first shipment will arrive in southern Chinese ports at the end of March.
South Africa is strategically well positioned to supply the growing Chinese market with Hass, with transit times from Durban to southern ports in China, such as Hong Kong and Shanghai, only 18-22 days.
There has been an additional boost for the industry recently with the news that Japan has also opened its doors to South African Hass avocados.
“It is indeed good news for us that the protocol for exports of South African Hass avocados to Japan has been finalised,” says Subtrop chief executive Derek Donkin. “Widening access to easter markets allows for market diversification, providing opportunities other than the EU and UK, which currently absorb 95 per cent of South African avocado exports. These traditional markets, however, will remain important markets for South Africa.”
He adds: “Tapping into growing markets in the Far East will allow for further expansion in the South African avocado industry, which has grown at a rate of 800–1,000ha per annum over the last five years. Current plantings stand at 20,000ha. Access to China and Japan has come at a critical time when these new plantings are coming into production.”
Hass supply will be available over a seven-month period from April to October, and it is anticipated that production volumes in South Africa will increase in the short term as existing orchards mature and yields develop.