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Eddy Kreukniet, Exsa Europe:

"Good season for Namibia and South Africa"

The grape market was hot these last few weeks. "Supply from Brazil and an early end to the European season resulted in an empty market. We did come from record prices. We're now seeing a price level of around 20 Euro for punnets, and 16/17 Euro for loose grapes," Eddy Kreukniet of Exsa Europe observes.

"That prices are stabilizing, is a good thing, because store sales will then increase as well. Retail orders were reasonably on par the past weeks, but with the other sales channels, grape sales rather came to a halt," Eddy goes on. "I expect the price to show a downward trend until Christmas, with normal prices, like we had in previous years, returning in January."

"The European market situation is of course known in Namibia and South Africa as well, which resulted in them having Europe in their sights. The amount shipped to Europe isn't smaller, but the North American market is also completely empty due to an early start of the local season. This will also cause a reaction in Chile, which will send the first fruit shipments entirely to the US. The Chinese New Year is a bit later than last year, so demand from Asia will be good too."

He expects a good season for grapes from Namibia and South Africa. "I think that because of acreage growth in Namibia, 20% more fruit will be sent from autonomous growth. The run-in to the season has been good in both Namibia and the Transvaal province. Rain in the Orange River did, however cause damages of about 1 million packages of grapes. On a total volume of about 18 million packages, however, that damage is limited."

As a positive development, Eddy mentions the new varieties, which will be shipped from South Africa in larger volumes and with more stability in supply. "We're expecting a lot from these. These new varieties, without exception, have a better flavour and shelf life. My expectation is that the volumes of the traditional varieties will decrease."

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