South African Raisin Crop Update 08.02.24
The South African raisin crop has several varieties, which are made by the farmers from their grapes based on demand and market conditions. Most importantly the price the farmers will be paid. All farmers in SA are paid an amount directly related to the market price. Another important factor is the infrastructure the farmers have on their farms. There are only 730 farmers in South Africa that make Raisins.
The Thompsons are the most important variety made in South Africa. The prices are good for farmers, and most farms are operational with the correct facilities to dry Thompsons. They are dried on concrete aprons, on drying tables and left on vine. This has the effect of making the raisins a little darker than others.
There has been sporadic rain in the region of Orange River since the beginning of the year, but this hasn't affected production all that much and farmers still remain on track to produce Thompsons.
The quality of goldens has been very good so far. The rain can still have a role to play as the majority of grapes remain on the vines and have not yet been harvested. If rain does occur then the grapes will not suit the making of goldens due to the colour and blemishes that can happen. If this was to happen, farmers will make Thompsons from those grapes, which is what happened back in 2022.
Therefore, the goldens are always vulnerable until the grapes have been harvested. Once they are harvested, sulphured and dried on trays, the rain will not affect the quality. The weather looks good for at least the next two weeks.
SA Sultanas medium
SA Sultanas are a similar product to the Turkish #9 RTU sultana. They are made from a green seedless grape which is the same exact grape as the Thompson medium, but for many years farmers have been getting better returns in value from Thompsons as opposed to SA Sultanas. 2024 is different, however. Now they are getting the same return for SA Sultanas, but farmers are accustomed to making Thompsons and so prefer to make them. The lack of infrastructure surrounding SA Sultanas means that there isn't a strong positive response to requests to make them.
Vredendal region weather has been very dry. There's been enough water from the river, but no rain which is perfect for the currants produced in this region.
The quality is looking good, but there are worries surrounding the volume of fruit being produced. Initially, farmers said that volumes were expected to be the same as the previous year but now that the fresh grape market is strong, farmers are packing fresh grapes to buyers for better profits.
Shipping out of Cape Town
There have been some strong winds in Cape Town which has caused extra delays in processing the ships at Durban port.
via RedSun Raisins