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Southern Africa citrus crop set for bumper harvest

The southern Africa region has been predicted to experience a four per cent year-on-year increase in its citrus export crop in 2013

The region could also be about to harvest its biggest ever citrus crop this year, according to South Africa’s Citrus Marketing Forum (CMF), the organisation behind the predictions.

The CMF said in its final estimate for the 2013 harvesting season that volumes are expected to increase by four per cent on last year's record to nearly 107mn cartons.

South Africa has been predicted to produce more than 100mn export cartons of citrus in 2013, which would mean the country would record export growth within its citrus sector of close to 36 per cent since 2006.

The region's lemons volumes have been predicted to climb by six per cent and soft citrus volumes have been forecast to enjoy a seven per cent rise, while the region's Valencia and navel volumes should remain stable with a one per cent increase in volumes plotted by the CMF.

Mozambique grapefruit exports are set to increase by 23 per cent, with South Africa's and Swaziland's grapefruit exports set to grow by 15 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.

Other citrus fruits expected to experience increases in year-on-year regional growth include satsumas (eight per cent), clementines (three per cent) and late mandarins (10 per cent).