Red Sun Hort

Market value for macadamias’ steep upwards curve

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In the last decade there has been a 112% increase in the volumes of macadamias exported around the world.

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Afgriland January/February 2019

Nuts and its health benefits are widely understood. The 60% rise in global tree nut consumption is testament to consumers increasingly opting for healthier food choices.

Growth in demand for macadamias specifically has been outstanding. Over the last ten years there has been a 112% increase in macadamias exported around the world.

‘With a better handle on the distinct qualities of macadamias, together with a collective enthusiasm from consumers and our customers, we have experienced burgeoning appetites in all markets around the globe. And this is exciting for our business,’ says Brian Loader, CEO of Green & Gold Macadamias.

Originating from northeastern Australia and first commercialised in Hawaii, macadamias represent only 1% of the tree nut collective. (Almonds are dominating at 30%, walnuts at 21%, cashews 19%, pistachios 14%, hazels 12%, pecans 3%, macadamias 1% and brazils and pine nuts at less than 1%.)

World tree nut production

Until recently macadamias was mostly regarded as a delicacy. But with the huge expansion in available supply this looks set to change.

Recent research demonstrates the marketable qualities of macadamias, including inter alia:

  • Containing the highest levels of monounsaturated fat (the good fat) of all nuts;
  • High in omega 7 fatty acids;
  • High in palmitoleic acid, widely used in the cosmetic industry as an anti-aging agent;
  • Beneficial to weight control and endothelial function; and
  • Support insulin and cholesterol regulation and cardiovascular health.

‘As trends like veganism, eating organic and preserving the environment continue to gain momentum, we anticipate further expansion of the macadamia industry’, continues Loader.

This view is strongly supported when viewed alongside the multi-billion dollar market value of all tree nuts. For example, the 2017/2018 supply value (estimated as the tree nut production per its unitary price, customs paid upon arrival) in Europe alone was $42 million. This presents a 36% increase over the last ten years. The market value for macadamias specifically shows an increase of 72% over the same period. And especially in the ingredients sector, the expectation is that more macadamias are set to be seen in milks, butters, nut mix drinks, vegan cheeses and as an ingredient in a host of other new products. ‘Green & Gold is well positioned not only to sell product of the highest standard, but also to customise to specifications and give input into and share insights with our customers,’ according to Loader.

Macadamia oil is sold primarily to the cosmetic industry for its valued anti-aging properties, however increasingly it’s being used in cooking (together with avocado oil, it has the highest smoke point of all oils) and other food applications.

The largest consumers of macadamia kernel are Australia and North America, together making up roughly 50% of consumption, followed by Europe, notably the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Switzerland and Spain. In Asia, and especially China, the nut is eaten in the shell, and the vast majority of in-shell product is exported there.

‘We are gearing our business to continue to support this market and have a strong base of loyal customers. Our long involvement in the industry affords deep market knowledge. Our network of processors, in a number of major growing regions, enables agility and supply security to respond to market demands,’ concluded Loader.

The global crop is set to double over the next four years from 211 000 tonnes in-shell in 2018 to 400 000 in 2022.

World macadamia export

South Africa is currently the world leader in macadamia production, with 54 000 tonnes in-shell produced this year, followed by Australia at 44 500 and Kenya at 32 500 tonnes.