Growth in 2019 macadamia supply below expectation


The International Nut Council Congress (INC), recently hosted in Florida in the United States, once more highlighted confidence in the macadamia sector.

Green Farms Nut Company (GFNC) attended the event. Over 1 300 industry leading delegates from over 60 countries from all aspects of the nut industry attended the event.

Macadamia supply and demand update:

The 2019 supply is anticipated to grow by 9000 mt tonnes, reaching 232 428 mt tonnes, up 4% on 2018 (223 537 mt tonnes). However, this is 1% down on the forecast (234 890 mt tonnnes) from March this year, leaving the market in tight supply. Longer term 7 year crop growth projection remains extremely positive: 500 000 mt ton increase from 200 000 in 2018 to 700 000 in 2025.

‘Market demand remains resilient – and macadamias are maintaining their place at the premium end of the nut segment. For farmers, this means kernel and nut in shell prices remain bullish. For our marketing team, Green & Gold Macadamias (G&G), this lower forecast in supply is somewhat disappointing as they have geared the market to absorb increasing product projections. Customers continue to be open to talking about macadamias as an ingredient – as a diary alternative, in pastes and butters – amongst others,’ comments Allen Duncan, CEO, Green Farms Nut Company.

The downward revision is largely due to drought in Kenya and Malawi. Kenya’s output is down 20% on 2018 from 38 500 mt tonnes in shell to 32 000 mt tonnes. Malawi is 7% under from 6 980 mt tonnes to 6 516 mt tonnes. Australia has also decreased expected output due to extreme heat weather conditions.

China demonstrates 40% increase in supply year on year, however this is likely to be absorbed within their domestic market without affecting the import appetite. Chinese consumption is growing not only in nut in shell, but also for kernel and as an ingredient. South Africa’s output remains as per forecast of 58 500 mt tons, up 3% on 2018 (56 550 mt tons).

It was widely reported from Australia, South Africa and Kenya that kernel recoveries were down due to smaller nut size. This means that total kernel availability is likely less than forecast and possibly less than available from the 2018 crop

Global industry body:

A motion to establish a body that represents the global macadamia industry has been underway for some time. Macadamias are small by comparison to other nuts, and have a fragmented supply base, which means a united body could punch above its weight on behalf of the sector.

Meetings of industry leaders and key stakeholders at the INC this year have confirmed that this initiative will take root in the next few months. Representation will come from key growing regions, industry bodies and major commercial players including GFNC and G&G.

Its function will be to allow a basis for workings on a global level to promote health research and market development for macadamias. It will coordinate efforts to grow the industry through marketing, research and building a central database. Also held within its remit is to create consistency in specification and quality. Additionally, it will undertake to deliver consistently messaged campaigns to promote the nut.

‘Attending the INC offers our business the opportunity to bed and build new and existing relationships through the nut value chain. Insight into trends and latest findings gleaned from the event further buoys our believe in the sector – together with being prepared for the changes and growth to come,’ concluded Duncan.