In it's second seasonal forecast the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) has reported that a normal crop is still on the cards, with volumes still in line with the original forecast made in November 2016 – a total export estimate of between 61.1m and 63m cartons.
However, in its second forecast SATI increased its lowest predicted level by around 1.7m cartons to 62.8m cartons, while the highest level expectation is raised from 63m cartons to 63.8m cartons.
This backs up earlier reports that the crop would be somewhat bigger than expected. SATI said the final export figure in the Northern production region would be as predicted, at around 5.3m cartons.
“Despite a slower start to the season the Orange River Region, one of the largest table grape production regions, is now expected to pack 20.3m cartons thereby slightly exceeding the first crop estimate," SATI noted.
The Olifants River Region has packed more than half of its harvest and is expected to end within the lower range of the estimate at 4.2m cartons, while harvesting in the Berg River and Hex River regions is currently in full swing. “It is expected that these regions will end in line with the first crop estimate.”
SATI said this year’s harvest does not show a huge increase, but rather reflects a return to normal berry and bunch development coupled with new generation varieties that provide a better yield and packout.