Honey Market in South Africa to Reach 3.5K Tonnes by 2025

Other Food Products July 09, 2018
Author: Sergey Avramenko
Head of Global Markets Research Team

IndexBox has just published a new report "South Africa: Honey - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025". Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

Honey Consumption in South Africa Soared in the Last Year due to Increasing Supply of Cheap Honey from China

In 2016, the honey market surged to 4.7K tonnes, which was 1.6K tonnes (or 49%) more than the year before. In value terms, it reached $6.4M. From 2007 to 2016, the honey market in South Africa demonstrated an overall upward trend with some wild fluctuations, growing by +7.3% per year in physical terms and by +4.1% in value terms (IndexBox estimates). The honey consumption volume increased due to the inflow of a large amount of honey from China. On the one hand, cheap imports from China stimulate consumption, but on the other hand, a sharp increase in shipments from this country may be short-lived.

Honey Market Is Expected to Reach 3,495 Tonnes by 2025

As per capita honey consumption in South Africa remains below the world average and significantly below some African countries, the South African market is still far from saturation. Moreover, honey can be consumed not only as a final consumption product, but also used for the production of food products, medicine and cosmetics. 

Due to the modest forecast growth of the South African economy at + 1% per annum, the income of the population in general will also grow at a minimal rate, which suggests very modest opportunities for growth in demand for honey, keeping in mind that honey is not a necessity product. 

Thus, according to forecasts, the honey market is expected to grow with an anticipated CAGR of +1.1% for the period between 2017 and 2025, which will bring the market volume to 3,495 tonnes by 2025.

Honey Output in South Africa Remains Relatively Flat

Production of honey in South Africa accounted for 1,089 tonnes in 2016, remaining relatively stable over the period under review. In value terms, it stood at $2.6M, with a 16% growth over the last year. Previously, it had an upward trend from 2009 to 2012 and then declined marginally over the next three years, before a sharp growth.

75% of Honey Consumption in South Africa Was Provided by Imports from China

South Africa has actively increased the volume of imports, which is cheaper than domestic products. This increased the share of imports in consumption from 58% to 84% in physical terms, or from 51% to 75% in value terms. Moreover, since the volume of domestic production is fairly stable, the main growth in consumption could be explained by the increase in imports. Thus, the honey market in South Africa is heavily dependent on imports, especially from Chinese suppliers, who have captured 75% of the honey market in South Africa.

Honey Exports from South Africa Remains Small and Fluctuate Significantly

In 2016, the volume of exports from South Africa totalled 343 tonnes, which was equal to $1,590K, with a mixed trend pattern over the last few years. Namibia (136 tonnes) and Botswana (60 tonnes) were the main export destinations of honey from South Africa, with a combined share of 57% of global exports. They were followed by Lesotho (8%), Mozambique (7%), Hong Kong (6%), Sri Lanka (5%) and the UAE (3%). During the period under review, South Africa consistently exported honey only to Mozambique, with the exports volumes gradually increasing. Increase in exports is also typical for other countries, however, most of the exports began after 2010.

China Was the Main Supplier of Honey into South Africa

The volume of imports into South Africa surged by 73% totalling 3,986 tonnes in 2016. In value terms, it amounted to $5,327K with 44% over the last year. There was an overall upward trend of imports in physical and value terms.   

In 2016, China (3,546 tonnes), distantly followed by Zambia (256K tonnes), the U.S. (98 tonnes), Uruguay (40 tonnes) and New Zealand (1 tonnes) were the leading suppliers of honey imports into South Africa. From 2007 to 2016, the major suppliers China (+22.5% per year), Zambia (+63.9%), the U.S. (+21.5%) and Uruguay (+8.0% per year) gained a positive annual growth rates. The share of China increased significantly from 37% in 2007 to 81% in 2016; the share of Zambia (+6 percentage points) also demonstrated  growth, while Brazil reduced its share by 11 percentage points. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the analysed period. 

Do you want to know more about the honey market in South Africa? Get the latest trends and insight from our report. It includes a wide range of statistics on

  • honey market share
  • honey prices
  • honey industry
  • honey sales
  • honey import
  • honey export
  • honey market forecast
  • honey price forecast

Source: South Africa: Honey - Market Report. Analysis And Forecast To 2025