Friday , 23 February 2024
Home Agricultural: Technology, News & Trends Grape Season Opens: South African Exports Temporarily Lag

Grape Season Opens: South African Exports Temporarily Lag


Currently, in the middle of the southern hemisphere’s raisin production and export season, South African raisin production for the 23/24 season is expected to be 73.0 million cases, or about 329,000 tonnes, an increase of about 12% from the 2022/23 season. As of week 48, export-inspected South African raisins stood at 6.1 million cases (4.5kg/case), or about 27,500 tonnes. Due to the late start of the season, inspections were down 20% on the previous season, with varieties mainly Prime Seedless Green Raisin, Early Sweet, and Tawny Seedless Tea Red. Shipments for the same period were 2.2 million cases, or about 9,900 tonnes, down 26% on the previous season.

Peru, also in the southern hemisphere, is expected to produce 118.4 million cases (4.5kg/case; 61% Seedless White, 27% Seedless Red, 5% Seedless Black), with 57 million cases packed as of week 48, while Chile is expected to produce 116.2 million cases, with 188,000 cases packed as of week 48.

There are currently three main production areas in South Africa where raisins are being harvested, namely the Northern Provinces region, the Orange River region, and the Oelofonteinz River region.

The Northern Province region is focussed on the export market with many importers requiring red seedless grapes. In week 48, local producers began packing seedless black grapes. In week 49, the Early Sweet, Prime, and Starlight varieties were primarily packaged and the Tawny, ARRA 33, and ARRA 29 varieties are currently being packaged.

Packing of the Prime and Early Sweet varieties is almost complete in the Orange River region. The Onseepkans and Blouputs regions are currently packing the Flame variety, and the raisins are still to be colored in the Augrabies and Rooipad regions, where the grapes have been very good in overall quality and size.

Some packers in the Olafunds River region started packing Prime varieties in week 49, with more packers expected to start packing Early Sweet and Tawny varieties in week 50, but the majority of packers won’t start packing until week 51. Local weather conditions are expected to be favorable for the next 10 days, making it very suitable for harvest.

The Bogue River area is expected to begin packing in week 51, starting with the Starlight and Prime varieties. The local vineyards are in good condition and the raisins are medium-sized overall.

The Hecker River appellation will shake off last season’s low yields and is expected to produce at its long-time average, with a good harvest expected. The appellation is expected to begin packing Starlight and ARRA 29 varieties in weeks 51 and 52.

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