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SA Table Grape Estimate for 2019/2020 season

As the South African table grape season is well underway, our team has a look at the latest crop estimates and what it means for our producers and buyers.

The South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) recently released the 2nd Crop Estimate* for the 2019/2020 season. Figures indicated a lower estimate of between 59,55 million and 66,3 million cartons (4,5 kg equivalents) – exclusively caused by significantly lower volumes from the Northern Provinces region.

This summer rainfall region was hit with unusual continuous rains during its peak harvesting period, and a crop volume reduction of 1,5 million cartons from the 1st estimate released in October is estimated for the region, as follows:

The estimate for all other regions remains unchanged.

The Northern Provinces, Orange River Valley and Olifants River Valley started their respective seasons on time, but the Berg River and Hex River Valleys seem to be at least one week earlier than usual.

According to SATI, all regions are experiencing good berry size and night temperatures have been lower than normal, which is conducive to good colour development of red and black varieties. With water resources well replenished, it seems that the Olifants River Valley has finally recovered from an extended drought. The industry as a whole will, however, continue to manage water most responsibly.

According to Willem Bestbier, Chief Executive Officer of SATI, the 2nd crop estimate reflects a normal crop and emphasised again that the focus is on quality and service.

According to Dirk Lategan, Delecta’s Category Manager of Table Grapes, the market looks very positive with a particularly promising harvest in the Western Cape. “The volume delivered from other countries to the UK and EU is lower than usual which will create a greater demand for our South African offering,” continues Lategan.

Lategan shares that his teams’ priority is to deliver top-quality fruit to their international buyers, despite the ongoing challenges created by increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.

“Anything can happen in this industry and we always have to be proactive and ready to respond to whatever comes our way. We are excited to have many new table grape producers in the Delecta stable, as well as a few new supermarket programmes,” says Lategan.

* SATI Crop estimates are done in co-operation with growers and industry experts representing all production regions.

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