The South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) is happy that the local table grape industry is in a favourable position, especially after last year’s drought and hot weather.
The industry body cautions however, that table grapes are grown under the blue skies therefore it is better to view this year’s harvest in the context of the 3,7% average compound growth rate over 5 years (calculated to include this year’s crop). SATI says this year’s harvest does not show a huge increase but rather reflects a return to the normal growth pattern of the local table grape industry.
Conditions were much more favourable and the best seen in many years with very little to no rain in most of the five production areas during the crucial harvesting period. While we had hot days, the nights were cooler, which aided colour development in red and black varieties. This contributed to a return to normal berry size and weight and even better quality and taste, a hallmark of South African table grapes.
The bulk of the crop and large volumes have already been harvested and exported. SATI is expecting normal volumes for the remainder of the South African table grape harvesting season.
The Northern Provinces region completed harvesting and ended on 5,5 million cartons. The Orange River region, one of the largest table grape production regions, ended on 20,5 million cartons.
The Olifants River region is nearly done with packing and is expected to end with about 4 million cartons.
Harvesting in the Berg River region will continue for a few more weeks while this region is expected to end on about 14,9 million cartons.
The Hex River region, which is still experiencing good weather, is expected to end on about 20,5 million cartons.
As indicated in the second crop estimate of 2 February 2017, very favourable weather conditions and normal berry and bunch development, coupled with new generation varieties that provide a better yield and pack-out are the main drivers of this year’s healthy South African table grape crop.
For enquiries, please contact the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI).