Namibia's seedless table grape export crop is set to fall to around 3.5m cartons this season, according to reports, down significantly on the 4.7m cartons shipped abroad in 2012.
André Vermaak, general manager of Capespan Namibia, told the New Age newspaper that volumes available to markets in the UK, Middle East and Asia were likely to fall as a result of poor weather compounding a general downturn in demand due to the global recession.
“Since 1989, we experienced one of the coldest winters ever in the valley in 2012,” Vermaak explained, adding that the cold conditions had also delayed harvesting in the country's Aussenkehr region by around a fortnight.
"A continuous cold front approaching from the south during August, September right to October, delayed the growth of the plants and the fruits," he said.
According to the New Age report, around 100ha of a new white seedless grape cultivar, Early Sweet, are available for export this season.