The South African table grape industry expects 2022-23 season volumes inspected for export to decrease by approximately 8% in comparison to 2021-22 season figures.
This estimate was released Oct. 31 by SATI, the South African Table Grape Industry Association, headquartered in Paarl, South Africa.
A crop estimate of approximately 71.7 million cartons (4.5kg equivalent) is anticipated, with the upper expected limit at 103% and the lower expected limit at 97% of this figure. Volumes in the Orange River and Northern Regions are expected to contract between 12-17%, whilst volumes in the Olifants, Berg and Hex River regions are expected to contract by 4-6%. Should historical trends between inspected volumes and exported volumes repeat, it may result in the number of cartons actually exported dipping below 70 million.
While a larger portion of newer generation varieties with potential higher yield is expected to come into full production this season, various factors indicate the expected yield is likely to be lower.
- A decrease in both total hectares planted (decreased by 1% to 20,379) and full bearing hectares (decreased by 1% to 18,765) has been recorded.
- An increased focus on crop load management and quality to accommodate anticipated travel times to market, given logistical factors.
- The percentage of grapes earmarked for local packing and raisin production is expected to increase. Over the last six years, the official crop estimates have been fairly accurate, with the anticipated limits proving within proximity to the final number of cartons inspected for export. The first crop estimate represents a reasonable deduction based on multiple factors. Figures may be revised as required.
The South African table grape industry remains aligned with global market trends, and cultivar consolidation has ensured that producers can supply markets with desired varieties. The industry expects a continued upward trend towards white seedless grapes in certain regions. Producers remain focused on quality, both on-farm and during the cold chain process and are dedicated to maintaining South Africa’s position as the preferred country of origin for retailers around the globe.