South Africa: Rapid drop in grape prices

The grape harvest is drawing to a close in the Limpopo region of South Africa, unlike other regions in the country the season started a bit later than last yearís according to Gert Smit from Top 8. ďMost of the producers will start to round up their season this week, but some will go on with the late varieties such as Crimson & Scarlotta up to week 6 or 7."

He said that volumes for the company will be up around 10% on last year reaching 800,000 4.5 Kg equivalent cartons, this is mainly due to new plantings coming into production and good yields. "We expect that volumes in the Top 8 group will increase next year and also bigger volumes will come from the Loskop Valley."

The company exports mainly to the UK, EU, with some volumes also going to the Far and Middle East, Africa is also a growing market for Top 8.

Forecasts at the beginning of this season had a promising start with good prices and good demand, but according to Smit, "Things changed quite quickly in the market after buyer's resistance resulted in price reductions, directly related to the early season's extraordinary high prices."

China is also a potentially good market for Top 8, especially on the Black Seedless and some Red Seedless varieties. Like every region, the Transvaal (NTA) has its own characteristics on itís varieties, here they get very good colouring, which sometimes results in a fruit colour too dark for certain markets, especially China. China is a very popular market and very brand related, so they always makes sure that the right brands and specís of fruit are packed for the market.

For more information:
Gert Smit
Top 8
Tel: +27 82 387 3901

Publication date: 1/12/2015
Author: Nichola McGregor

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