South African table grape forecast cut - FreshFruitPortal.com

South African table grape forecast cut following "unusual" northern rains

The South African table grape forecast has been reduced following a drop in volumes from the Northern Provinces region.

In its second crop estimate, industry body the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) said exports would likely end up between 59.55m and 66.3m cartons.

This is down from the original South African table grape forecast of 61.05m - 67.80m cartons. Last season a total of 61.13m cartons were packed for export.

SATI said the adjustment was "exclusively caused by significantly lower volumes" from the Northern Provinces.

"This summer rainfall region was hit with unusual continuous rains during its peak harvesting period, and a crop
volume reduction of 1,5 million cartons is estimated for the region," it said.

The estimate for all other regions remains unchanged.

The Northern Provinces, Orange River Valley and Olifants River Valley started their respective seasons on time, but the Berg River and Hex River Valleys seem to be at least one week earlier than usual.

"Throughout the regions berry size is good and to date night temperatures have been lower than normal, which is conducive to good colour development of red and black varieties," SATI said.

"With water resources well replenished, it seems that the Olifants River Valley has finally recovered from an extended drought. The industry as a whole will however continue to manage water most responsibly."

According to Willem Bestbier, SATI's CEO, the second South African table grape forecast reflects a normal crop.