Revealed Comparative Advantage in the Global Citrus Market and Implications for South Africa

The purpose of this paper is to examine the international competitiveness of the leading exporters in the global citrus market, namely, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Peru, SA, Spain, Turkey, the United States of America (USA) and Uruguay. A key objective is to draw implications for the South African citrus industry. The paper fills an existing research gap because only a limited number of studies have assessed the competitiveness of SA’s citrus exports (Ndou and Obi, 2013; Sinngu and Antwi, 2014). Using the constant market share approach, Ndou and Obi (2013) found that SA’s market share for oranges and lemons rose in various export markets. They also found that SA’s export market share for lime and lemons in the Middle East and grapefruits and pemelos in Central Europe also increased. The increase in market share, which signaled increasing competiveness, was attributed to “market availability, market size and strong support from the” Citrus Growers Association in SA (Adou and Obi, 2013; p. 160).