Torrential rain destroys grapes in South Africa’s Hex River Valley

“between half a million and a million boxes no longer good for export”
Torrential rain destroys grapes in South Africa’s Hex River Valley

Grape growers in the Hex River Valley in South Africa have been again hit by torrential rain. The damage is still being measured but European importers are reporting that there could be between half a million to a million boxes of grapes which are no longer of export quality. “So much rain at this time of the year is very unusual in South Africa and large volumes have been destroyed particularly in the Hex River Valley and also to a lesser extent in the Berg River. When 100 mm of rain falls in South Africa the soil is washed away’ said Gilbert Klingenberg van Exsa Europe.

According to the importer it is mainly Flame and other red varieties which have been hardest hit. “From the white varieties it was the Sugraone that was mostly affected, but it was mainly the red varieties. The later varieties are not yet ripe so the damage may be limited, but the early varieties have been hard hit and are no longer suitable for export. At the very best these will be sold on the local market.”

Gilbert explains that the damage will also affect the price of red grape varieties. “The prices are already around two Euro higher that last week. It is expected that the red grapes will be the scarcest. The price of white grapes has up to now stayed stable. This kind of damage is never good but this has happened at a very bad time. The Namibian season has finished, Argentina and Chile have also had problems and Indian grape won’t be on the market until the end of February.

For more information:
Exsa Europe
Tel: +31 88 735 0003
Mob: +31 620 25 78 11
[email protected]

Publication date: 1/15/2014