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Eddy Kreukniet, Exsa Europe:

"South African and Namibian grape production very disappointing"

"This year's South African and Namibian grape season will begin in stark contrast to the previous season," said Eddy Kreukniet from Exsa Europe. "It was expected that the European season would leave plenty of room for Brazilian product to arrive into an empty market, however this year Europe's season ran late so Brazilian produce was stuck. Brazilian white (seedless) grapes have had to wait for some time in Europe and had some problems in marketing and quality which has not helped prices develop very well."

Disappointing production
"The early regions in South Africa (and Namibia) have had to deal with large shortfalls in production during the first weeks of the season. Average production per hectare is presently 3.5 to 3.000 boxes where normally 5.000 would be expected. The Orange River, the largest production area of early grapes had frost to deal with in October which caused 20 to 25% of the harvest to be lost," said the producer.

"This has resulted in slow supply to the market but there is/was plenty of European and Brazilian grape. We also expect Peru to have expanded its production, which can be seen with the Red Globe (with pip), but there is also growth with Peru's seedless varieties. Unlike recent weeks, this week there has been healthy demand for the new harvest which we expect will stabilise the market."

New varieties
"From week 52 the first blue grapes with pips should arrive and from week 1 the first South African Red Globe (red with pips). Also in the coming season our EXSA growers will be devoted to the further development of new varieties and optimisation of existing ones. New varieties with (semi) commercial volume will include Sweet Celebration, Jack Salute, Scarlotta and Sable," concluded Eddy.

Due to an increasing global demand - in combination with the problems in other grape producing countries such as Argentina and Chile - it will be difficult for competitors to import structural volumes in the right quality, not to mention the need to also meet all food safety requirements and complying with standards in the field of Ethical Trading. Meeting these standards are the elements which distinguish our growers," concluded Eddy.

For more information:
Eddy Kreukniet
Exsa Europe
Tel: +31 88 735 0003
Mob: +31 620 25 78 11

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