South Africa forecasts positive season for table grape volumes

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South Africa forecasts positive season for table grape volumes

The South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) released its first estimates for the 2019-20 season on Friday. South African table grape production will be in line with recent years and could end up higher than the last campaign.

The forecast states that intake volumes will be between 61.05m and 67.8m cartons (approximately 4.5 kg).

The lower end would be only slightly below last season's total packed volume of 61.1m cartons. The upper end, meanwhile, would mark an 11% year-on-year rise and would be on par with the 2016-17 season.

The report, compiled by a collaboration of growers and industry experts, shows that a majority of the regions expect numbers consistent with previous seasons.

The Northern Provinces region is especially notable as it will continue to incrementally grow in production, keeping with growth trends. 

In contrast to other regions which will begin a week earlier, the Northern Provinces region will start packing around week 44. 

A modest estimate in the Olifants River region reflects the after-effects of the prolonged drought in previous years. However, the region received rain this season and is expected to be in full production this season. 

Additionally, the Hex region remains consistent in its production figures.

South African table grape varietal reconversion

Increasing competition in the international market, according to Naudé, drove South African table grape growers to increase varietal reconversion. 

In response to what occurred in the previous drought, particularly in the Western Cape region, the industry is aware of water scarcity, SATI said. Water conservation is a crucial element for the growers as they continue managing resources. 

SATI will continue to report on industry developments as the season moves forward.

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