The country’s table grape industry is anticipating 12 per cent growth in exports over the previous season

South Africa’s table grape industry has said its first crop estimate for the 2023/24 season indicated a return to more normal export volumes after a decline last year.

South Africa table grapes

The industry expects 2023/24 volumes to grow by about 12 per cent when compared with the actual inspected volumes recorded in the 2022/23 campaign.

“This is in line with the three-year average volumes,” said Sati, the industry body. ”A national crop estimate of 73m mcartons (4.5kg equivalent) is anticipated, with the upper expected limit at approximately 75.2m cartons and the lower expected limit at approximately 70.8m cartons.”

The two early regions, the Orange River and the Northern region, and the mid-season Olifants River region expect to export more grapes this year compared with 2022/23, when climatic conditions affected crops.

The Berg River region expects a crop similar to last year and is hoping for an increase.

The Olifants River region is forecasting a crop estimate of 3.4m cartons, compared with 3m cartons in the previous season.

It is however very early in the season, and much can happen that can affect these estimates.

Volumes in the Orange River region are expected to return 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 slated at approximately 21.1m cartons, compared to last season’s 16.4m cartons, and the Northern region is predicting a crop size of approximately 5.9m cartons, up from 5.6m cartons.

The Berg and Hex River regions were less impacted by weather patterns last year, and volumes are set to remain at stable levels to past campaigns.

The Berg River’s crop is estimated at 19.1m cartons, similar to last season’s 19m cartons, and the Hex River region expects an export crop of 23.5m cartons, compared to 21.2m cartons last year.