There's a citrus boom in the Western Cape. Pexels

If you're eating a citrus fruit, chances are it was grown somewhere in the Western Cape.

And if the Western Cape was a country, it would be the world’s fifth largest exporter of citrus fruits! 

Citrus statistics

  • Over 6% of the global market share of citrus was exported from the Western Cape in 2017.  
  • China and the USA, which hold the spots as the world’s third and fourth biggest exporters, hold global market share of eight percent and 7 percent respectively.
  • Most of the province’s exports are oranges (54% of all exports in 2017).
  • Europe is the biggest market for Western Cape exports, however, the market size has declined from 55% of all Western Cape citrus exports in 2008, to 47% in 2017. The Asian and Oceana markets however have made up the decline, growing from 34% in 2008 to 42% last year. 
  • At a country level, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands are the biggest buyers of Western Cape citrus, however, citrus exports to China have shown remarkable growth.

Europe is the biggest market for Western Cape citrus exports. Pexels
Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde says the Western Cape has a good track record with citrus fruit exports: “Europe has long been a major destination for exports, but the growth we’re seeing in the Asian market is showing a new shift. This is especially positive news with the uncertainty around Brexit and what this means for European and UK exports.” 

He adds: “Our Project Khulisa strategy has been to focus on growing the agricultural and agri-processing sectors, thereby creating new jobs."

"By developing new export markets for our produce, while still providing a world class product to our traditional markets, we can grow this economy. We’ve also been focused on growing our Halal exports, and the growth of citrus exports to countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain is a positive step towards meeting this Project Khulisa goal," says Winde.