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Higher Prices Anticipated for South African Table Grapes This Season

November 01, 2021

On Oct. 27, South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) released its first crop estimate for the upcoming 2021/22 season, with the anticipated production volume remaining essentially the same as last season, ranging between 70.6 million and 77.7 million 4.5-kilogram cartons.

The planted area for table grapes in South Africa has dropped slightly to 20,564 hectares in 2021 from 21,100 hectares in 2020. However, newly planted higher-yielding varieties coming into full production are expected to compensate for this smaller planted area.

According to Anton Viljoen, chairman of SATI, South African table grape producers will be focusing more on various aspects of crop management from planting all the way to packaging in order to satisfy consumers with the highest quality products. In fact, to maintain the competitive edge of South African table grapes in the international arena, local growers have already invested significant sums of money into breeding novel cultivars, improving packaging practices and building additional cold storage facilities.

The harvest work for this season is expected to kick off in the beginning of November in two early regions, namely, the Northern Provinces and Orange River regions. Other major producing regions including the Olifants River, Berg River and Hex River regions typically start picking approximately one month or more later.

Data from Agrotex Global indicate that the South African fruit industry will see an estimated increase of 30–40% in freight charges starting from the 2021/22 season. Since 2020, reefer freight rates have risen by 40% in South Africa with no signs of abating in the foreseeable future. Owing to higher costs of labor, packaging materials and logistics, market prices for South African table grapes are very likely to run at high levels during this season.

The following table shows the first crop estimate for the upcoming 2021/22 season issued by SATI based on the latest available information and historical data.

First crop estimate for 2021/22 season (million 4.5 kg equivalent cartons).
  FIRST CROP ESTIMATE ACTUAL PACKED VOLUME
REGION LOW HIGH 2020/21 2019/20 2018/19
Northern Provinces 7.70 8.30 7.88 6.10 7.12
Orange River 18.50 21.20 18.51 19.86 19.21
Olifants River 4.30 4.50 4.44 3.32 2.37
Berg River 17.80 19.50 20.06 16.27 13.79
Hex River 22.30 24.20 24.00 20.60 18.65
TOTAL 70.60 77.70 74.89 66.15 61.13

Image: Pixabay

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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