South African drought prompts another downgrade for table grape crop
The drought in South Africa's Western Cape continues to put the strain on table grape producers with the sector now estimating further cuts to the crop estimate.
After volume expectations were lowered substantially last month, the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) today announced new estimates that cut those forecasts by up to four million cartons.
The new estimate is between 55.4 million and 59.3 million cartons, which is 12.2% and 18% lower than the estimate limits set in the previous campaign.
"This development is mainly due to the persistent drought in the Western Cape, where three of the five production regions in South Africa are situated," SATI reports.
"The extreme heat and reduced water allocations to agriculture in the drought stricken production regions are impacting the harvest.
"South African producers and exporters expect harvesting to continue with close to normal export volumes for
the next 4 to 6 weeks. However, they foresee a shorter harvest period compared to previous years due to the drought and hotter than usual temperatures."
The organization noted however that growers were still committed to meeting programs and contracted business with a focus on the "well-known South African quality offering and taste".