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South Africa – one of the most unexpected diversifications of Egyptian grape exports

Egypt, the key exporter of grapes in North Africa, has seriously intensified its diversification strategy in the past few years. Besides traditional markets in the EU, russia, and the Middle East, Egyptian exporters of table grapes have devoted greater attention to Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, as reported by EastFruit. South Africa has become one of the most unexpected diversification targets of the Egyptian exports in the past few years despite South African exports being annually three and even four times as high as Egyptian ones.

South Africa annually exports 320,000-410,000 tonnes of table grapes and is the fourth biggest exporter of these fruits in the world. Nevertheless, the country still imports 8,000-10,000 tonnes of grapes annually. The import volumes are indeed not so high, as, for example, the Netherlands imports up to 26,000 tonnes of grapes from Egypt annually, not to mentioned other EU countries. Nevertheless, the South African market is still an excellent opportunity for export diversification and a gate to the markets of its neighboring countries.

Last year, Egypt exported 3,800 tonnes of table grapes to South Africa, an increase of 40% since 2017. Since 2019, Egypt has remained the leading exporter of grapes in this market, with only Spain as a competitor. In 2022, South Africa imported just 3,100 tonnes of grapes from Spain.

Read also: Egypt increases orange exports to Brazil (world’s leading exporter of orange juice)

Imported grapes usually arrive in the South African market during the domestic off-season. Egypt is the only supplier in June-July and is joined by Spain in August. Spanish season lasts until October. After that, trade in imported grapes calms down, and imports from Namibia are used for further re-exports to the Northern hemisphere. It is also worth mentioning that the volumes of such re-exports of Namibian grapes through South Africa have also been growing and reached 3,500 tonnes by 2022.

Meanwhile, trade in grapes between South Africa and Egypt is not active in the opposite direction. In 2022, South Africa exported just 220 tonnes of table grapes to Egypt.

EastFruit

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