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Drought may still affect volumes

South African grape estimate up on last season

This week the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) released the 1st Crop
Estimate for the 2016/17 table grape season. The estimate is for normal volumes of between 61.1 million and 63 million cartons.

The early production regions started packing, one week earlier than last season. The Northern Provinces Region had a good start to the new season, according to SATI. It is expected that the Orange River Region will have a slower start to the season with early volumes slightly lower compared to the same period last year. The region however foresees that a normal pack out will continue after the slow start.

Due to good rains during the winter months the Olifants River Region does not expect any water restrictions as was the case during the 2015/2016 season. A normal crop is thus expected. The two later regions of the Berg River and Hex River are experiencing reasonably good weather at this stage, although it is still too early to predict any changes in the weather and how it may affect the crop.

However, it is unclear what effect the exceptionally dry and warm weather of the previous season will have on the new crop. Furthermore the grip of the worst drought in decades seems to persist in some areas, which could also have an adverse effect on the crop.

Willem Bestbier, Chief Executive Officer of SATI: "As of this year crop estimates are done in co-operation with industry experts who are in close contact with growers in all regions, hence the expectation that we are working with the best information available. This structure should also enable us to be more responsive to in-season developments and deviations."

The estimate was reached by taking into account the experience and observations of the group of experts, the latest industry vine census and historical data.

Table: Crop Estimate in 4.5 kg carton equivalents (Millions)

Click here for larger image

This year’s lower limit of 61.1 million is 5.4% higher than the actual intake of the previous season, which reflects an expected return to normal berry and bunch development. The upper limit takes into account the increasing hectares of new generation cultivars yielding a better pack out and an increase on total hectares of approximately 2%.

For more information:
Clayton Swart
Tel: +27 (0) 21 863 0366
Email: [email protected]