March 2019 market report

2018 delivers strong growth in global macadamia kernel sales and use


The 2018 global crop finished at 224,000 tonnes (in shell, 3.5% moisture), up 20% on 2017.

Initial expectations are for a more modest increase in 2019 of between 2% and 5% overall. China is expected to deliver the biggest increase, making it the fourth-largest producer overall. Initial expectations are for a 3.5% increase in the South African crop, driven mainly by new plantings coming into production.  

The 2019 Australian macadamia crop is forecast to reach 49,900 tonnes (in-shell at 3.5% moisture), a slight increase on 2018’s record crop of 49,300 tonnes (in-shell at 3.5% moisture). 


Demand for macadamia kernel from key markets continued to rise in 2018, up more than 2,600 tonnes or 12% over the prior year and representing more than 24,000 tonnes overall.  

The USA accounted for the largest volume increase, consuming almost 10,000 tonnes in total, up 1,000 tonnes over the prior year. The second-largest import region was Europe at almost 6,400 tonnes, followed by Australia at 3,999 tonnes. 

Australian sales

Overall Australian kernel sales increased significantly by 20%, with increases seen across the board. The Australian market reached a milestone at almost 4,000 tonnes, up 25% over the prior year. Total sales to Asia were up 39% or 4,300 tonnes, and kernel sales to Europe were up 38% to 1,600 tonnes. Collectively Asia and Australia represented just over 70% of total Australian kernel sales.

Australian in shell sales declined by 24% in line with increased kernel sales and largely as a result of Australia targeting the kernel market in light of increased availability of in shell product from China and South Africa.


The Australian industry will continue to focus on driving demand for macadamia kernel in 2019. The findings of a new consumer insights study into the Ice Cream category were released earlier this month, with more category-specific research to be conducted later this year, and the results of the second Macadamia Innovation Challenge to be announced in the coming weeks.

These activities are part of the industry’s Innovation Initiative, designed to foster an environment for ongoing innovation, and forge a new level of support and partnership with food manufacturers eager to invest in our product.

Stay tuned to updates on these activities as they happen.

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