Orange River region suffering from dry conditions

South African grape estimate reduced by a further 1 million cartons

The South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) has again reduced the 2016 estimate for the second time in a week.

The association confirms that the early regions 2015/2016 table grape crop is significantly lighter than expected as a result of the Orange River Valley indicating a total crop of between 18.0 and 18.5 million cartons, which is significantly lower than the original estimate for the region and is predominantly ascribed to an early season, smaller berry size and particularly warm and dry weather conditions.

"Due to the geography and specific climate of the Orange River Valley, the second largest table grape production region in South Africa, the season is relatively short and full season expectations are significantly influenced by week-to-week intakes and assessments," explained SATGI. "Prime and Flame Seedless are harvested and were much lighter than anticipated. Sugraone, which is currently being packed, follows the same pattern and even the early pickings of Thompson Seedless realise lighter weights."

The table below highlights the update for the Orange River Valley and confirms an unchanged outlook for all other South African table grape production regions, as announced on 10 December 2015.

Table: Crop Estimate in 4.5 kg carton equivalents

This updated estimate for the Orange River Valley reduces the total crop estimate to between 59.8 and 61.7 million cartons, which is 2.4% lower than the first estimate and between 1% and 4% up on the previous season.

The weather conditions in all regions are ideal for harvesting and packing and excellent quality is expected from all mid to late season areas.
For more information:
Willem Bestbier

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