The impact of the rain experienced towards the end of January is more significant than initially reported. Crop estimates early in January still mentioned a crop of 55 000 tons. Some farmers have lost 40-60% of their crop resulting in a much higher of no value component in the crop. It is still difficult to estimate eventual crop size, but our view is that it will be 40 000 tons or even smaller. The volumes of lighter colored product will be limited as most of the fresh fruit had to be dried as Thompsons sundried raisins or WP sultanas.
Weather has been good since the rain reduced the crop. We have seen some good quality golden sultanas being dried, but OR sultanas will be extremely limited.
Our view is to offer product rather than paper, therefore offers have been placed on hold until we have a firm grip on availability and quality we will be able to offer. In our experience it is always better to wait slightly longer to ensure we have the product rather than offering product still to be harvested, resulting in contracts not being honored.
We will provide an update regarding crop availability by the end of February.
The product we can still offer today is currants as this product is grown in other part of SA near to Vredendaal and not in Upington region.
The significantly smaller apricot crop does not permit us to offer at this moment and the chances to get some are very limited.
Peaches and pears have been offered and quality should be good. Some volumes of mango is also available at competitive prices.