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Pressure on UK market

South African grape exporters go east

The South African grape season started early this year in areas such as the Berg River and Hex Valley and big volumes early on complicated the market, but according to one exporter the volumes are steadier than last year when there was a lot of damage in the Orange River Region. Volumes are also slightly up due good weather and fruit quality is said to be very good.

The UK market is severely under pressure at the moment, but the exporter hopes that this will stabilise, he said it is good to spread the risk at the moment. Exporters are sending more to the Far and Middle East as well as to Russia. There is demand in the Far East for the Chinese New Year and this week the last vessel for the Far East will leave South Africa.

The exporter goes on to say that the Russian market is relatively stable, but the risk lies in the value of the currency, last year the Rouble/Dollar rate was 52/1 at present it is 62-63/1. "This makes it very risky in relation to returns for the growers, they will have to be very careful and cautious. It is an interesting time, we have to be very conservative with the price to move the volumes we have."

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