South African Field Report 8.2.19
Weather conditions have been very good until first week February. Rain is forecasted for the next few days and it may reduce the crop size. Impact on quality will depend on the period the product will be exposed to the rain. We will provide update soonest.
The product that has been dried is of excellent quality, but the crop is two weeks later than PY, therefore the next few weeks are critical . Rain is the last thing that the farmers and packers need at this stage of the crop.
The size of the crop seems to be smaller than 2018 and is estimated to be around 65 000 tonnes. The currant crop in Vredendal will be even smaller than PY and the impact of the drought still evident. The volumes of the lighter product in color , particularly golden sultanas will be significantly lower, mainly due to the high prices being offered for TSR to farmers. Farmers were therefore inclined to dry more TSR and less goldens. At this stage less than 3% of the product has been delivered, but by end February one should have a better idea of volumes and availability.
Prices to farmers are at record levels in Rand terms.
The sugar levels of the apricots are not as high as previous years and the weight per fruit as a result is lower. The apricot crop therefore again in very short supply. The volumes of Elberta peaches and pears also lower due to low prices offered to farmers.