SOUTH AFRICA – Report estimates by Viticulturist and Producer Cellars along with the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) predicts a positive outlook for the upcoming 2024 South African wine and table grape harvest.

The first in a series of annual grape crop estimates, issued by viticulturists and producer cellars, forecasts a favorable and slightly larger grape harvest, albeit still below the average yields observed over the past decade.

The post-harvest period characterized by cooler, wetter conditions brought welcome relief to vineyards, aiding their recovery after the earlier harvest.

Despite a smaller crop load in 2023, the harvest’s early completion and ample water availability bolstered vineyard reserves, setting a positive foundation for the upcoming winter.

“Though the national vineyard area has shown a declining trend, currently at 89,384 hectares (SAWIS 2022), the favorable climatic conditions leading up to the harvest outweigh potential limitations,” noted Etienne Terblanche, manager of Vinpro’s team of viticulture experts.

“While keeping a close watch on the potential impact of load shedding, if environmental conditions align with predictions and producers adapt management practices accordingly, we anticipate a good-quality harvest.”

SATI estimates 12% table grape crop increase for 2023/24 season

Simultaneously, the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) released its initial estimates, forecasting a 12% increase in export volumes for the 2023–2024 season compared to the inspected volumes of the preceding season.

These estimations fall in line with the three-year average figures, signaling growth potential.

Projections suggest a national crop estimate of 73.0 million cartons (4.5 kg equivalent) for the upcoming season, with the upper expected limit reaching approximately 75.2 million cartons and the lower limit at around 70.8 million cartons.

Notably, specific regions are set to witness a resurgence in production following varied impacts from weather patterns in the previous season.

The Orange River Region, expecting a crop estimate of approximately 21.1 million cartons, is poised for a rebound, while the Northern Region anticipates a crop size of about 5.9 million cartons.

Conversely, the Berg and Hex River Regions are projected to maintain volumes comparable to previous seasons, showcasing resilience amid weather fluctuations.

Key South African grape markets such as the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East remain pivotal, emphasizing the nation’s role in global wine and table grape trade.

The consistent supply from regions like the Northern Cape and Western Cape underscores South Africa’s significant contribution to international grape markets.

The promising estimates signal an optimistic trajectory for both wine and table grape sectors, setting the stage for potential growth and market stability in the upcoming season.

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