South Africa's table grape crop could be around 60 per cent lower than last year, according to a report published by German market analyst AMI, opening the way potentially for a larger volume of the fruit to be sourced from countries including Peru, Namibia and Argentina.
As reported last week, the country was already expecting to ship a considerably volume of grapes to its major markets this season, with exports to northern Europe already reported to be running about 2m cartons down on the same stage of the previous campaign.
"Cold wind and heavy rains in particular have led to heavy losses," AMI's Ursula Schockemöhle reported. "During the current week, there was hardly any supply available, meaning delivery programmes especially to retailers had to be cut."
Prices, as a result, have remained firm, while Namibia and Peru are both understood to have sold more fruit to fill the gap in supply.
"As an alternative for retailers, grapes from Argentina will be available from week three," Schockemöhle added. "In Chile, the rain is clouding the prospects for a good export season and compared with last year is set for a 33 per cent decrease."