Dear Readers,

Being at the beginning of March, the raisins are delivered now in
bigger portions than in the early days of January and partly in
February, which is logic.

Meanwhile, there has been some days of delay because of temporary
rainfall. Sincere damage was reported in the region of Keimoes. Strong
winds and heavy rainfall caused some serious damage.

In the region of Marchand, fortunately, has not fallen that much rain which,
luckily, did not cause any losses in fruit but is holding up production a bit.

Afterall we can say, it was wide-spread and due to high
temperatures, in most areas, it is supposed to dry quickly again.
As far as the total tonnage of this crop is concerned, we get, more
and more, the feeling, that the final outcome will not be much higher
than last year’s crop.
From what we understand, an earlier mentioned figure between 50 and
55.000 tons should turn out to be quite accurate.

In some months we will see whether the above figure was correct!!

Talking no longer about quantity but quality, everybody will confirm
that the crop, in general, is importantly better than the one of last
year. Once again, at least in the region of Kakamas.
Notwithstanding the sometimes supreme quality it will, nevertheless,
be hard enough for the South African top-qualities to find a home
because of the ongoing competition from several sides.
There is no doubt that for the Ramandan period slightly better prices
for golden medium and jumbos, which is a speciality, shall be paid but
for later shipments it is going to be tough to keep prices at the
Ramadan levels.

Quite different will be the situation for Thompson mediums.

Competition with qualities of which it is claimed that they are more
or less similar to the South African Thompsons, are offered at levels,
which are unheart of and henceforth it will make live quite difficult
for the packers, as long as no fair margin can be achieved.

Meanwhile the Food-fair in Dubai was held, thid week.
Despite the low prices for Turkish and Iranian raisins, there was a
more than strong demand for South African raisins. It is nothing new
when the interest was mainly on goldens, Both mediums and jumbos which
is a speciality on its own and for which the buyers are willing to pay
a fair premium.
It goes without saying that the strongest demand, as usual, was for
the golden jumbos.

There are unfortunately two problems, in this respect: the first is
the supply and the second is the time-schedule.
Both problems can hardly be solved this season: first problem cannot
be handled because
there is not enough supply and the second problem is that even if the
supply was there it does not fit in with the time-schedule.

More later……