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Namibian Grape Industry Adopts Conservative Approach to Coming Season

The majority of the early grapes now harvested in Namibia and South Africa’s northern regions feed into South African retail programmes.

Grape growers will be keen to start exports, with news that Peruvian grapes are in shorter supply plus a strong pull from the United States.

Namibian grape exports by sea usually commence towards the end of November.

“Markets [in Europe] seem favourable, with the prospect of a stable run-up to Christmas. It is too early to make any predictions since a good season is determined by so many factors, and we’re fairly conservative in how we approach the season,” says Carike Johnson, secretary of the Namibian Grape Growers Association.

She declined to give their crop estimate for the 2023/2024 season; an industry source puts the Namibian grape crop estimate at 9.1 million cartons (4.5kg equivalent).

Early Sweet was the first to be harvested in north of the Aussenkehr Valley by week 44, while most grape farms kicked off last week, she says. Early Sweet is followed by Flame and Prime.

Search for alternatives to Cape Town Port
In the logistics space there is a lot of movement behind the scenes as the industry works out how it can reduce its dependence on South Africa’s port of Cape Town.

MSC’s Terminal Investment Company was awarded the contract to run the Walvis Bay Container Terminal in October last year. The news has opened up new possibilities for the industry even though Walvis Bay is further (over 900km) from the Aussenkehr Valley than Cape Town across the border.

“Options [to exit through Walvis Bay] are still on the table but there are still many conversations and a lot of planning needed to use it successfully. At this stage costs would, however, be significantly higher,” the organisation responded to enquiries on the topic.

Source : Freshplaza