SA grape export volumes "similar" this year

The international marketing magazine for fresh produce buyers in Europe
Fred Meintjes

BY FRED MEINTJES

SA grape export volumes "similar" this year

SATI has forecast that table grape volumes will remain on a par with the previous year during 2008/09

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South Africa is expected to ship between 47m and 51m cartons of table grapes this season, a volume very similar to last year’s crop, according to the national table grape organization SATI.

However, the group said that a reduction in the crop is expected in the hex River Valley, which was affected by recent heavy rain and floods.

According to SATI’s projection, the early-producing regions in the northern parts of the country will ship between 3m and 4m cartons, with the Orange River contributing between 14m and 15.5m cartons. The early shipments from these regions include both red and white seedless varieties.

The hex River Valley is the country’s late growing region and suffered damage to vineyards and infra-structure in floods which hit the Western Cape region in November.

SATI said that so far growing conditions have been very good in the other regions, but some growers suffered minor hail damage in certain parts of the Orange River.

Meanwhile, harvesting in Namibia is well under way and growers expect to finish packing most of their table grapes before Christmas. Namibia is expected to ship 4m cartons this season, with 3.3m produced in the Aussenkehr region on the northern bank of the Orange River.

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