Wind delays South African grape shipments

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The Namibian and early South African grape harvests are well under way and producers are looking at a very empty European market currently, which should transfer into good returns for producers.

There have been some reports of rain in the Aussenkehr region of Namibia, which is said to have halted harvesting temporarily, but this was not confirmed by growers in the region. Rain fell throughout Namibia yesterday which is great news for the drought stricken country. It has not rained for many years in the Aussenkehr region. There is no mention of any damage to production, just reports of a short break in picking.

Volumes, brix and quality is said to be high from Namibia with good potential shelf life. Volumes will average, good but not exceptional.

There was also a delay in loading at Capetown last week, due to record high winds, which meant nothing could be loaded for 7-8 days, so arrivals in Europe will be later that expected. There have been no further delays at the port and overall the situation at the port has increased dramatically in the last few years.

According to the latest statistics from the South African Table Grape Industry, Satgi, the big increase in intake up to wk 45 (over 280,000 cartons) is due to a significant increase in planting of new, early varieties coming into commercial volumes this season. The Northern Province has seen 129 HA more production this season.