Macadamia Situation and Outlook
U.S. macadamia production in 1997/98 is forecast at 28,000 tons, 6 percent above the prior year's output due to good weather and higher yields of mature trees in Hawaii.
Exports in 1997/98 are forecast to rise 7 percent to 5,000 tons. The United States exports only prepared or preserved macadamias, with Japan accounting for 57 percent of total U.S. shipments.
U.S. imports in 1997/98 are forecast to drop 11 percent to 16,000 tons due to the expected larger harvest. Shelled macadamias account for most U.S. imports. Australia, Guatemala, Kenya, South Africa, and Costa Rica remain the principal suppliers of shelled macadamias to the United States.
Australia ranks as the world's second largest macadamia producer, after the United States. The Australian Macadamia Society projects 1999/2000 output at 30,000 tons.
Australia is the world's largest macadamia exporter. Exports in 1997/98 are forecast at a record 16,000 tons, 13 percent above the previous year's shipments. The United States is Australia's single largest export market accounting for about 22 percent of total 1996/97 exports. Asian countries, however, form the largest regional market, accounting for about 54 percent of Australian exports, of which Japan and Hong Kong are the largest single customers.
Kenya is the third largest macadamia producer and the second largest exporter of macadamias. Many Kenyan farmers are integrating macadamia trees into their coffee and tea plantations. They view macadamia output as insurance against the uncertainties of weather which affect coffee and tea. The tree nut marketing companies, cooperatives, and the extension services are raising macadamia seedlings to meet demand.
Heavy unseasonable rains have contributed to a modest 3-percent increase in 1997/98 production. As trees planted 3 to 5 years ago begin bearing nuts, future output of macadamias should again expand more rapidly.
Kenya's macadamia nut exports in 1997/98 are forecast at a record 6,900 tons, 1 percent above the previous season's shipments. Japan and the United States are the 2 largest markets, together accounting for almost 84 percent of Kenya's total exports.
The 1997/98 harvest and exports are expected to both increase 23 percent to 6,720 and 6,050 tons, respectively, as favorable rains were received. In 1996/97, the United States and Hong Kong were the 2 principal customers of South African macadamias, accounting for 33 and 24 percent of total exports, respectively. The Netherlands bought 13 percent of total South African exports. Currency devaluations have contributed to expanding exports as South Africa's rand dipped 6 percent in terms of the U.S. dollar from 4.62 to 4.91 rand by early 1998.
In 1997/98, production of macadamias in Costa Rica is forecast to remain unchanged at 2,500 tons. Exports are projected to decrease 14 percent to 2,400 tons, due to increased export competition. Most macadamias exported by Costa Rica move in bulk, though the two processing factories are trying to find markets for their line of consumer-ready products. The United States is Costa Rica's major export market.
Guatemala has potential to enlarge its macadamia production, as new plantings begin bearing fruit. Production and exports in 1997/98 are forecast at 2,745 and 2,735 tons, both up 9 percent from the previous year.
Guatemala exports nearly all of its macadamia nut production. The United States buys 80 percent of Guatemala's exports.
In 1997/98, Brazil's output of macadamias is expected to rise 23 percent to 1,600 tons due to good weather. Exports are forecast to increase about 92 percent to 250 tons. The United States purchases about 90 percent of Brazil's exports.
Various factors influence Brazilian production of macadamias. The government offers no support to the industry. Prices to growers have fallen in recent years. Inadequate financing, due to Brazil's high interest rates, has slowed expansion by Brazilian farmers. Poor management of orchards and occasional bad weather also hamper the macadamia industry.
(For further information on supply, distribution, and
trade, contact William Janis at 202-720-0897. For further
information on U.S. marketing opportunities, contact Ingrid Mohn