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Economist: Spike in grape prices inevitable amid drought

The sector is being affected by the ongoing drought in the province.

Picture:Pixabay.com

CAPE TOWN - The ongoing drought in the Western Cape continues to take its toll on the wine industry.

The province is experiencing its worst drought in more than 100 years.

Some wine experts in the Western Cape say they’re expecting a challenging harvesting season.

Vinpro agricultural economist Pieter van Niekerk says a spike in grape prices is inevitable.

“We are expecting a 20% decrease in 2018 harvest due to the drought. Currently a lot of the vineyards are expressing stressing conditions, due to the lack of water and heat.”

Van Niekerk adds grape prices will most likely be increasing by between 7% and 20%.

Dam levels in the Western Cape are currently at 26.5% with only a slight chance of light rain forecast for next week.

The Western Cape Agricultural department has invested R67 million toward the drought.

Economic Opportunities MEC Alan Winde says the crisis will influence the markets later this year.

South Africa exports 440 million litres of wine annually and sells 400 million litres locally.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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