South Africa’s table grape export volumes are expected to rise 12% for the coming industry 2023-24 season.
The South African Table Grape Industry released this information in its first crop estimate for the new season.
The industry expects a 12% increase in volumes inspected for export compared to the actual inspected volumes of the 2022-23 season.
This is in line with the three-year average volumes. SATI indicates a national crop estimate of 73.0 million cartons is anticipated, with the upper expected limit at approximately 75.2 million cartons and the lower expected limit at approximately 70.8 million cartons.
The South African industry’s equivalent for a carton is 4.5 kilograms or 9.9 pounds.
Orange River Region volumes are expected to return closer to the medium-term average, following lower yields in the previous season due to unseasonal weather patterns. The Orange River Region’s crop estimate is expected at approximately 21.1 million cartons, compared to last season’s 16.4 million inspected for export. The Northern Region expects a crop size of approximately 5.9 million cartons, compared to last season’s 5.6 million inspected for export.
The Berg and Hex River Regions were less impacted by weather patterns in the previous season, and anticipated volumes are expected to remain closely aligned with those seen in the past. The Berg River Region’s crop is estimated at 19.1 million cartons, compared to last season’s 19.0 million, and the Hex River Region expects a crop size of 23.5 million cartons, compared to 21.2 million.
The Olifants River region expects a crop estimate of 3.4 million cartons, compared to 3.0 million last year. The past winter period was characterized by low temperatures, which is advantageous during the dormancy cycle.
SATI continues that multiple regions experienced unseasonal rain during the harvest period last season, which was attributed to changing weather patterns. Early indications are that during the 2023-24 season, sufficient volumes will be produced in each region, supported by newer cultivars coming into production. Cultivar consolidation in the South African table grape industry has ensured that producers remain aligned with global market trends, enabling them to supply markets with desired cultivars. Based on the latest vine census, a continued upward trend towards white seedless grapes in certain regions is expected.
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, SATI claims. The first crop estimate represents a reasonable deduction based on multiple factors. Figures may be revised as required.