"The SuperStar nectarine variety and AmberCrest peaches both have lovely round fruits that are fully coloured. This season, the harvest in South Africa for these early varieties was 10 days to a week earlier than last, and since week 42 quite a lot has been exported by air. Now, with the arrival of the first shipping container, the new season has really started, and more fruit is available at a normal price."
"The expectations for the new South African stonefruit season are good," Joep continues. "The production areas for stonefruit in South Africa have had a good winter, plenty of cold and rain, and the dams are full of water again. The stonefruit settled well after the blossom period, thanks to good weather conditions at the time. There was damage to plums in some production areas due to hail in late September, early October, but this was before the fruit thinning, so damaged fruits were removed during the thinning.
For the South African plums, a harvest yield of around 10% more than last season is expected. "The expected larger harvest of stonefruit for the coming season, is caused mainly by larger volumes of nectarines and peaches but excluding plums. For both nectarines and peaches, around 10 to 15% more harvest is expected during this new season. This is mainly because new orchards are entering production, for instance with the early, good new varieties of SuperStar nectarines and AmberCrest peaches that are now available."
Good quality is also expected. "This is thanks to the good weather conditions so far, with nice, large fruits with good colour and flavour. We're seeing that with the first SuperStar nectarines and AmberCrest peaches we received today: only large fruits, with sizes 20 and 18."