Markets & Economy

South Africa sees high levels of table grape exports

Having seen a relatively slow start to the season in terms of table grape export volumes, South Africa has now significantly picked up the pace of shipments.

For much of the season until recently, exports from South Africa were running well behind the previous season, despite a much higher intake volume.

In week 3, for example, accumulated exports of 22.2 million cartons were registered against 27.4 million by the same time last year, while the intake was 37.4 million, against 31 million from the 2020-21 season.

However, as of mid-February onwards - around week 7 - export volumes caught up with last season, with almost 46 million boxes.

And as of week 9, exports have stormed ahead, with total shipments registered of 55.9 million cartons, against 52.9 million.

Meanwhile, the intake volume is still running higher than last year, at 68.9 million cartons compared to 61.2 million.

In February industry body the South African Table Grape Industry estimated there would be a total intake volume of between 72.8 million and 77.7 million cartons.

Exports to the EU represent a little under half of total shipments so far, with 29.9 million cartons. This is followed by the U.K. with 12.5 million, and Canada with 3.9 million.

SATI said the Northern Provinces region has now ended its packing season, and the Orange River region has since joined them.

"The Olifants River region is also wrapping up its season and it is evident that the producers of this region will reach its high estimate," it said.

"The Berg River and Hex River regions are enjoying a good season and both these regions are expecting to harvest large volumes of grapes of excellent quality and condition."

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