The new estimate is 15% lower than the 2015 season of 46 000t, and 4 000t fewer than the previous estimate of 43 000t.
The drought has affected South African growers more than expected, with many role players indicating a 20% decline in production. Compared to the 2015 season, some areas are down 50% in production.
Walter Giuricich, SAMAC’s chairperson, attributed the lower expected volumes to higher nut drop, and smaller-sized nuts.
“Many nuts are smaller than usual with thicker shells, [because of] the hot and dry weather conditions. [This factor], as well as high rates of insect damage, most notably late stink bug, will also negatively affect the quantities of kernel being produced and sold in the international market,” said Giuricich.
Giuricich said that the association was concerned that should the current dry weather conditions continue, the 2017 crop would also be affected.