Crop report - Vine Fruit - South Africa / March 2020
Updated: Jun 10, 2020
The initial crop size as reported by Raisins SA, the local industry body, was 81.000 tonnes versus just below 75.000 tonnes produced in 2019.
After rain has been reported in different areas, particularly over the last 2 weeks, the crop should be smaller than initially predicted. Rainfall may vary by as much as 50 mm within a 5 km distance from Upington. Our current forecast is a crop similar to the previous year or slightly bigger.
The main aspects to consider: - Although more Golden sultanas will be dried versus 2019 (2019 total of 12.000 tonnes), volumes should still be less compared to 2018 volumes (24.000 tonnes) due to the rain of the last weeks. Estimates for crop 2020 are now around 20.000-22.000 tonnes.
- Significantly less Thompsons (TSR) have been dried, mainly driven by the lower prices.
- The prices for fresh product have been better compared to 2019, therefore less Jumbo sizes will be available from 2020 crop. Farmers have now a bigger incentive to sell on the fresh market instead of drying their grapes. Deliveries to date to factory of Jumbo sizes have been far below estimates.
- The crop in Vredendal is back to normal levels after the drought had an impact on the crop size in 2018 and 2019.
- The Currant crop, one of the important raisins of Vredendal, should be back to normal levels (3.000-3.500 tonnes).
- More WP ("Western Province") sultanas have been dried due to smaller price gap versus TSR.
- Quality of Flame mediums is very good.
- Excellent OR sultanas dried earlier in the harvesting season, before the rainfall.
- Less than half of the product has now been delivered to packers.
- Weather forecast for the next 2 weeks is looking promising, with good temperatures, mostly sunny and no rainfall. Keeping our fingers crossed.