South African Raisins Report, December 2022
RedSun Raisins: Projected Crop of 2023
The South African raisin crop size estimate for 2023 remains at the 77,000mt level. This is despite the considerable flood levels of the Orange River and now the Olifant’s River at Vredendal. There has been limited rain fall in the raisin-producing regions, however, the maturity levels of the grapes to be dried for raisins were not ripe enough to be damaged by the rain or the humidity in the air from the flooding river. There has been massive rainfall in the catchment areas (Johannesburg, Bloemfontein etc) of the Orange River, which has caused the Orange River and the Olifants River to break their banks on the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Farmers are hoping the rain will not return during January, February and March, where the damage to the raisin crop will be worse (as in the 2022 crop).The volume is down, but the quality is up. This is typical if the grape vines do not have a heavy crop to carry. Every bunch of grapes receives more intensive nourishment from the plant.
Prices for the 2023 crop
It is December and no processor is committing themselves to firm prices for the farmers. The competition between the packers is always strong, however, in the end, the market guides everyone. Therefore, with two exceptions, the prices being spoken about are similar to the 2022 levels. Thompson mediums are discussed at prices slightly down on 2022 levels. Flame mediums are in line with the prices of Thompsons because they are becoming more popular every year. The Flame medium volume will be limited at a little under 5000mt
Currants prices are down.
The one exception to the price range change from 2022 is the currants. Currants will be cheaper this year and more in line with the Greek prices. The volume will be down because processors have introduced harsher requirements in terms of chemicals and drying methods. Furthermore, there has been some rain damage on the currants due to their earlier ripening properties. The damage is not great, but it is there. Golden prices are up. The second exception to the price stability of 2022 is the goldens. Everything will depend on the weather conditions and the suitability of the climate to make goldens. As of now, everything looks good. If everything is positive, we anticipate a crop of about 20,000 mt of good-quality goldens. Prices will stabilize after the initial rush at the beginning of the season.