South Africa: Table grape crop holds steady in latest forecast

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South Africa: Table grape crop holds steady in latest forecast

The South African table grape crop estimate has remained relatively unchanged in the fourth forecast of the season, with volumes for the 2017-18 campaign expected to end up between 12-17% lower year-on-year.

The new estimate released by the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) is between 56.2 million and 59.3 million cartons, reflecting an unchanged upper limit and a slight increase in the lower limit of the 

The Northern Provinces region, nearly at the end of their harvest, with enough available water fared even better than predicted. The Orange River region, which also has enough water, has done reasonably well despite some challenges with smaller berries and lower bunch weights.

Producers in this region are expected to practically complete packing within the next two weeks. The three regions hardest hit by the drought and heat are the Olifants, Berg and Hex River. The effect of the drought and heat varies between producers who are seeing a reduction of between 10% and 30% in their volumes compared to last season.

Close to normal export volumes will continue for at least the next four weeks, according to SATI. However, it said a shorter tail-end of the harvest is expected due to the cut in water allocations and possible further effect of the ongoing drought.

Crop estimates are done in co-operation with industry experts who are in close contact with growers in all regions, with the expectation that the best information available was used. This structure enables SATI to be more responsive to in-season developments and deviations.



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