South African table grape crop estimate holds steady
The Northern Provinces region had completed harvesting and ended within the first estimate on 5.3 million cartons.
They received normal summer rain toward the end of the harvest which "did not have a big impact on the intakes", according to the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI).
Despite a slower start to the Orange River region - one of the largest production areas - it is now expected to pack 20.3 million cartons, slightly exceeding the original forecast.
The Olifants River has packed more than half of its harvest and is due to end within the lower the range of the estimate at 4.2 million cartons.
Harvesting in the Berg River and Hex River, which has experienced good weather, is currently in full swing. It is expected these regions will end in line with the initial estimate.
"Despite the relatively drier conditions leading up to the harvest, it has developed very well with the indication that we are heading for the upper limit of 63 million cartons, which could be marginally exceeded by 1.3% compared to the 1st crop estimate," SATI said.
"This year's harvest does not show a huge increase but rather reflects a return to normal berry and bunch development coupled with new generation varieties that provide a better yield and pack out."
Speaking to Fresh Fruit Portal in January, SATI chairman Willem Bestbier said indications were for a strong season characterized by good volumes, stable markets, and a sharp uptick in exports to Canada.