South Africa: Spike in Pineapple Consumption and Processing Amid Decline in Exports due to COVID-19

While the impact of COVID-19 has been minimal to production and has been good in driving domestic demand in South Africa, exports have suffered. Post estimates that the production of pineapples will increase sharply by 18 percent to 132,000 Metric Tons (MT) in the 2019/20 MY, based on the rise in area planted, improvement in yields and good growing conditions. Domestic consumption of pineapples is estimated to rise by 14 percent to 33,000 MT in the 2019/20 MY, based on demand driven by health reasons and an unprecedented spike in demand for pineapples for use in homebrewed alcohol. However, Post estimates that the export of fresh pineapples will decrease by 34 percent to 2,200 MT in the 2019/20 MY, based on the slow pace of exports up to May 2020 due to the surge in airfreighting costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. South Africa currently exports small volumes of pineapple to the United States, as the subtropical fruit is eligible for duty free access under the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

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