Rain in South Africa reduces grape packing estimates by up to 11%
Rain in South Africa in late December caused delays in the harvesting and packing of grapes, prompting the South African Table Grape Industry to revise export estimates down by between 7% and 11%, according to its weekly newsletter.
The new estimates call for a high of 49.2 million cartons to be shipped this season, down 7% from a week 48 estimate of 53 million cartons. Original estimates for the season predicted up to 55 million cartons. Each carton is the equivalent of 4.5 kilograms.
Up to week 52, about 11.5 million cartons of grapes had been shipped from South Africa.
Rain on Dec. 30 and Jan. 1 caused significant damage in the Orange River region, with 30% to 40% of Thompson Seedless grapes ready for harvest showing splitting. Less mature grapes showed little to no damage. Small quantities of Sugrathirteen are being packed, and Red Globe will be packed occasionally through week 3.
The Northern Province region will ship at least 15% less, because rain delayed the harvest. Packing in this area is expected to continue through week 5.
In the Olifants River region, the last of Flame Seedless is being packed, along with Crimson Seedless and Thompson Seedless. Quality has been good.
In the Berg River region, volumes increased along with packing. Flame Seedless, Prime, Victoria, Regal Seedless, Desert and Sugrathirteen are being packed, and quality has been good.
In the Hex Valley region, large volumes are expected to be packed starting in week 3 as several varieties are harvested. Flame Seedless and Prime were packed in week 52 and week 1.