May 2018 market report

Global macadamia crop tipped to continue steady upward trend


The global crop is expected to increase by just over 10% in 2018, according to the latest statistics. This continues the steady increase in supply since 2012 which has delivered an overall increase of 60%. 

This growth will escalate in the coming years as recent new plantings come into bearing.  

Investment in new plantings is continuing globally. In South Africa and Australia plantings are at around 6-7,000 ha per annum collectively, while in China the already substantial area under planting is set to expand beyond the Yunnan and Guanghxi provinces into neighbouring regions. In Vietnam, current production is still relatively low, however interest in macadamias remains high. 

The broadening of the supply base, much of which is large scale investment in established origins Australia and South Africa, will go a long way to seeing a far more stable supply situation and a larger supply overall within the next few years. This will help address one of our key market development issues and open up more opportunities to capitalise on the potential of macadamias. 

Global macadamia production, in shell. Source: INC


Global demand for macadamia kernel has been steady over the last three months, and total macadamia kernel imports to most key markets were steady compared with the same period last year. USA remained the biggest importer overall and by far the largest kernel user once its own production is considered. Europe is the second largest importer, with Japan taking third place. Australia is the second biggest user of kernel at 3.5 million kilograms.

Macadamia kernel imports to key markets (April 2017-March 2018) Source: USDA, Eurostat, Japan customs

Demand for in shell was strong in 2017 with total in shell imports increasing significantly. This was in line with increased availability of South African product, as its crop began to recover from the previous year’s severe drought conditions.  

Australian sales 

Total Australian sales reflected the slightly reduced crop, down 2% for kernel and 10% for in shell. 

Kernel sales to the domestic market were strong in the 12 months to March 2018, up 15% compared with the same time last year. In Australia there has been a slight increase in consumer purchase frequency for all nuts including macadamias, signalling the continued relevance of nuts for today’s consumers and major retailer support for the product. 

Kernel sales to the USA returned to pre-2016 levels following the anomalies of 2016/2017 which saw record imports for Q3, Q4 2015 followed by record low imports for Q1, Q2 2016.  

Australian kernel sales in the last 12 months to Japan hit one of the highest levels ever, surpassed only by the prior 12 months. Interest in this market is strong with the product increasingly used for snacking. Security of supply remains the biggest limiting factor.   

South Korea has shown continued steady growth in Australian kernel sales and sustained interest beyond the initial excitement created by the Korean Airlines incident and the FTA. Country of origin labelling will be advantageous, with the origin of all ingredients now required to be clearly stated on pack. 

Kernel sales to Germany declined primarily as a result of greater availability of kernel from South Africa and Kenya and limited availability from Australia. The market across Europe is continuing to develop beyond Germany. 

In shell sales to China fell as a result of the lower Australian crop and increased availability from South Africa, however this market continues to show significant market development potential.  

Australian macadamia sales (MT, in-shell at 3.5% moisture) Source: AMHA

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