In our bulletin of the 18th of January we informed you that the raisin-area was hit by adverse weather-conditions. Farmers told us that there were big differences in damage depending on the area.
The consequence of such situation means, in the first place, a delay and secondly the quality could be in danger. So called “swart-bekkies” will therefore, most probably, make out a good deal of the crop. (50 percent less choice, as far as the sultanas are concerned, has been whispered)
Taking all these affected berries out will mean that the percentage of choice quality which the farmer will deliver will be strongly diminished. Should in a normal year the average percentage of choice berries be somehwere around 85 to 88 percent, for this season we foresee percentages which could well be 30/40 percent lower. Again… as far as sultanas are concerned.
In the second place the delay plays a dominant role. Specially when the first 2 months (February and March) are destined for Ramadan. It will be become quite a challenge to ship every kilo in time.
Another consequence of the above could be that a lot of farmers might decide to make less goldens and opt for Thompsons.
The cost of labour is less intense and deliveries will be at least two weeks ahead of the time needed to produce goldens.
All in all, unfortunately the weather-circumstances have been a spoil-sport, in the last minute, this season.
It might be true that California has been decreasing their prices finally, it shall not automatically mean that others, like South Africa, in the light of the adverse weather, will or can do the same. The contrary comes first, we suppose!