The weather has been extremely hot the last month in Upington… and then it started to rain over the week end.
Since then it has been wet and cloudy, definitely not ideal conditions for the crop. Our initial view is that the crop may be reduced by 5 000 tons to 50 000 tons (vs 60 000 tons produced in 2015), but by next week, when dry weather has been forecasted we will have a better idea.
Initially we planned to offer some volumes this week, but it will be very risky, bearing in mind up to 150 mm has been reported in some areas. I would rather want to delay once we have a better picture regarding the crop.
Some exporters did offer volumes long in advance, but we would rather follow a more cautious approach as we do not want to offer significant volumes of product still to be harvested. Some product will be offered once we have a better feel what was the impact of the rain on the crop. The rain will reduce availability of the lighter color product. The impact on quality will be determined by next week.
OR sultanas will be limited due to the lower grading farmers receive for this product. We do expect some WP sultanas to be dried this year.
The currant crop, produced in Vredendal, will be smaller than PY, due to hot weather experienced during blossom time.
The apricot crop is much smaller than previous year and we are cautious in offering . The pear and peach volumes as well as quality should be similar vs PY. Limited volumes of mango will also be available this year.