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[Press Release] South African Table Grape Industry Revises Crop Estimate

February 02, 2020

This content has been modified from its original version. It has been edited for content and style, as well as to follow Produce Report editorial guidelines and for necessary website formatting.

January 31, 2020South African Table Grape Industry has released its third crop estimate* for the 2019/20 season of between 59.6 million and 64.7 million cartons (4.5 kg equivalent), which represents a slight downward adjustment compared to previous estimates predominantly due to lower expected volumes from the Hex River region following rain two weeks ago (week 3). After further assessment, the impact of this rain on mid-season cultivars in the Hex River region became evident.

A crop volume reduced by approximately 2 million cartons is now estimated for this region. However, the backbone of the Hex River crop consists predominantly of Crimson Seedless, which escaped the adverse effects of the rain, promises good volumes, color and quality, and is still awaiting packing.

The advantageous geographical diversity of the five table grape production regions of South Africa is once again demonstrated by the performance of the Orange River and Olifants River regions, which have already reached the lower limits predicted in the second crop estimate, and the Berg River region, for which the third crop estimate has been adjusted upward. These regions support to a great extent the overall volumes for this sector.

Third crop estimate* for the 2019/20 season (in million 4.5-kg-equivalent cartons).


Third estimate

(Jan. 31, 2020)

Second estimate

(Dec. 18, 2019)

First estimate

(Oct. 18, 2019)

Actual packed volumes
Low High Low High Low High 2018/19 2017/18 2016/17
Northern Provinces 5.8 6.0 5.65 6.30 7.15 7.80 7.121 6.829 5.538
Orange River 19.5 19.9 18.50 19.90 18.50 19.90 19.207 19.016 20.533
Olifants River 2.5 2.7 2.10 2.50 2.10 2.50 2.367 2.802 3.968
Berg River 14.0 15.8 13.50 15.30 13.50 15.30 13.789 13.053 15.426
Hex River 17.8 20.3 19.80 22.30 19.80 22.30 18.649 20.365 22.111
Total 59.6 64.7 59.55 66.30 61.05 67.80 61.133 62.065 67.575

The Northern Provinces and Orange River regions have now almost completed packing, while the Olifants, Berg and Hex river regions still have some way to go. The Berg River region, which was unaffected by the rain, is harvesting under ideal conditions and producing grapes of good quality and size. According to Willem Bestbier, CEO of SATI, South African table grape growers continue to focus on quality and service to international markets, irrespective of the unpredictability of Mother Nature: “We together with producers in the Olifants River region are grateful that table grape production in this region has recovered so well after the recent drought as they look set to exceed the first crop estimate.”

For enquiries, please contact:

Willem Bestbier, CEO of SATI, on +27 (0) 21 863 0366.

Jacques Ferreira, information and systems manager, on +27 (0) 21 863 0366.

*SATI’s crop estimates are conducted in cooperation with growers and industry experts representing all production regions.

Image: South African Table Grape Industry