Grape industry hopes for bumper harvest
DURBAN - The South African Table Grape Industry (Sati) has said that grape producers and exporters were confident that all market commitments would be serviced with a very good product.
Sati’s new chairperson, Anton Viljoen jr, said yesterday that producers would continue to focus on selecting, preparing and packing the best quality table grapes with great eating quality from South Africa to export to the world markets.
The industry representative organisation released the 2nd Crop Estimate for the 2020/2021 season with intake volumes lowering to between 61.7 million and 67.1 million cartons (4.5kg equivalent) caused by the effect of rain in week 1 in the Orange River region. This region was now expected to pack between 15 million and 16 million cartons.
Viljoen jr said that the mid to late cultivars in the Orange River, Autumn Crisp, Arra 15, Sweet Globe, Scarlotta, Sugar Crisp, Crimson Seedless and Red Globe would still be packed with great care and focus on quality.
He said that the geographical diversity of South Africa’s five production regions was once again demonstrated with the mid to late Olifants River, Berg River and Hex River regions in the Western Cape expected to make up for the volumes lost. In these regions the quality was found excellent, with the weather forecast for the foreseeable future being equally promising.
The earlier Northern Provinces region started about 2 weeks late, but was expected to reach the upper level of the first crop estimate, while they report good quality and berry sizes.
The crop estimates were done in co-operation with growers and industry experts representing all production regions.
This forum was used by Sati to be more responsive to in-season developments and deviations.
The Olifants River region, with its packing window predominantly between that of the Orange River Region and the mid-to-late Berg and Hex River regions, reported very good quality and berry sizes. Its estimate has been raised to a low of 3.7 million and a high of 4 million cartons.
The Berg River region, which was still the third biggest production region in the country, reported equally good quality grapes with very good berry sizes.
The estimate for this region remained unchanged at a low of 15.5 million to a high of 16.7 million cartons.
The grapes quality in the Hex River region also looked very promising. The estimate has been changed with the upper limit increased to 23 million cartons, while the lower end remains unchanged at 20.6 million cartons.
The updated second estimate was reached by considering the best available information, experience and observations, the latest industry vine census and historical data.