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South African Raisin Exports Are Expected To Decline By Nearly 8 Per Cent For The 2020/23

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In its first assessment of the season, released late last month, the SATI Industry Association of South Africa (SATI) predicted that export inspections for the 2020/23 production season would be about 7.65 percent lower than last year.

Production of South African pickles this season is expected to be 71.7 million boxes (4.5 kg/box), fluctuating between 69.55 million and 73.85 million boxes, down 6 million boxes from last season's 77.7 million boxes. Production in the Orange and Northern provinces is expected to decline by 12 to 17 percent, while production in the Olefenz, Berg and Heck Rivers is expected to decline by 4 to 6 percent. Last season, the Orange and Heck Rivers saw the biggest increases.

If the historical trend between inspection volume and export volume is repeated, the actual total export volume will be lower than 70 million cases.

Although more high-yielding new varieties are in full production this season, factors point to lower yields. The area under cultivation fell 1% to 20,379 hectares and the area under full production also fell 1% to 18,765 hectares.

With logistics in mind, the South African raisin industry has focused more on raisin quality and crop load management (reducing the amount of fruit hung) to accommodate expected logistics transport times. At the same time, it is expected that the number of raisins sold locally to South Africa will increase, as will the proportion of raisins used to produce raisins.

Over the past six years, SATI's official assessments have maintained a high degree of accuracy, with the expected number not too different from the final export inspection volume. The results, the first of the season, are a combination of factors, and the numbers are subject to change.

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