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February 28, 2010

South African wine industry cuts grape crop forecast

by Mkhululi Mancotywa

South African Wine Industry Information and Systems cut its forecast for the country’s wine grape crop by 62,000 metric tons from last month’s estimate because of weather-related damage to vineyards.

South Africa will probably harvest 1.24 million tons of wine grapes this year, 6.5 percent less than in 2009, the producer group said in its third estimate of the crop in an e- mailed statement today. Wine stocks of producers and private cellars will fall to 253 million liters at the end of this year from 337.2 million liters (89 million gallons) at the end of 2009, the report said.

“Sunburn, wind and heat damage combined with a shortage of irrigation water” contributed to the crop losses, the group said.


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