South African table grape exports remain above previous seasons

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South African table grape exports remain above previous seasons

South African table grapes exports continue to run significantly higher than previous seasons during the opening few weeks, new data from industry body SATI shows.

The industry had exported 4.4m boxes as of week 48. That's around a third more than the last three seasons, which had all seen exports of between 3.3m - 3.4m boxes by the same week.

In terms of year-on-year changes in export volumes to different markets, shipments to the EU as of week 48 are up 10% at 2.6m boxes, while to the U.K. they are up by a little over double at 960,000.

Meanwhile, to Canada they are also up by around double at 306,000 boxes., and to the Middle East they are 50% at 255,000 boxes.

The crop forecast is for 61m - 68m boxes, which is in line with previous years.

Regional overview

Providing an overview of the different production regions, SATI said that the Northern Provinces' intake volumes are a bit lower due to summer rain.

The berry size and quality of grapes still look good, it said, said they continue to pack varieties such as Midnight Beauty, Tawny Seedless, Prime and Starlight.

The Orange River started to pack under optimal weather conditions leading to good quality grapes and berry sizes.  Producers are packing Early Sweet, Prime and Flame.

Cultivars that will follow in the next two weeks are Midnight Beauty, Ralli Seedless, Tawny Seedless and Sugraone.

The Olifants River region started packing Tawny Seedless in week 49 followed by Flame this week (week 50). Early indications are that the vines are recovering after the recent drought.

The earlier parts of the Berg River is expected to start harvesting Flame and Prime in week 51 while the Hex River is getting ready to start with Starlight in week 51.  

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