South Africa's Hex River expecting weeks of large grape volumes

South Africa's Hex River expecting weeks of large grape volumes

South Africa's Hex River region is expecting a few weeks of heavy table grape volumes, industry body SATI said.

The Hex River - one of the country's two largest growing areas, along with the Orange River - had a "very strong pack week" last week, the organization said.

"Cultivars currently being packed include Sweet Globe, Sweet Joy and Autumn Crisp while the packing of the mainstay cultivar Crimson has started well. A few weeks of large volumes are expected," SATI said.

The development comes as the country's accumulated exports have caught up with the average of previous seasons, having started off the 2020-21 campaign more slowly than normal.

As of week 6, South Africa had exported 41.4 million cartons (4.5-kilogram equivalent), which below the 44.7 million shipped by this time last year but slightly above the previous two seasons.

The Berg River - another important mid-to-late region - is "very positive" about the good volumes and quality of grapes being packed, SATI said. Like the Hex River, it is currently packing at "full capacity".

Cultivars currently packing include Melody, Sweet Globe, Allison, Crimson, Sugra 35 and 34, Sweet Joy and Scarlotta.

Packing in the Olifants River will slowly come to an end over the next few weeks. The overall good quality and large berry sizes of grapes remain. Current cultivars being harvested include Sweet Globe, Sugra 35, Timco and Crimson. 

Meanwhile, packing is wrapping up in the two earlier regions of the Northern Provinces and the Orange River.