SA records dramatic grape export growth to Middle East
South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) statistics show the country’s shipments rose by 14.1% in week 6, driven by significant export increases to the U.K., the Middle East and South East Asia.
U.K. shipments had suffered a large slump in the previous week but rose to 509,091MT in week 6, as Middle East-bound exports more than doubled and shipments to the South East Asian market increased almost to eight-fold.
Cumulative table grape shipments for the week were 28,697,838MT and could have been larger if it weren’t for a 7.9% fall in exports to Northern Europe, which is South Africa’s largest grape destination market. Exports to the region were 1,770,636MT.
Total shipments in week 6 were around 10% lower than the corresponding period last year, compared to a 25% lower value in week 5.
SATI confirmed most producers in the Oliphant’s River region have finished packing for the season, but good quality Crimson Seedless, Autumn Royal and Redglobe grape packing is still underway.
In the Berg River region good weather conditions were expected for the following week, while week 8 volumes are expected to decrease as producers from the northern part of the region finish packing.
SATI also said the 7-12mm rainfall that hit the Hex Valley region on Feb. 10 was not likely to have any negative effects on grape quality.