The South African apricot crop will be under way from November 20. Due to a dry spring, small fruit is expected in some areas. Initial predictions are for 4,000 tonnes ­ about 5% down on last year and up to 20% down on 1998/99. The peach harvest will start on December 20 but may be brought forward due to dry weather conditions. As with apricots, small fruit may be a problem with this crop, too. South Africa had a mild winter and without the benefit of a cold snap the flowering was delayed. The outlook for peaches is a similar crop to last year, but with a prolonged picking period reflecting the pattern of the flowering period. Early indications for pears are in the 86,000t range ­ around 8% down on last season. Picking will not start until early next year, since earlier frost damage in the Ceres growing area is holding back the crop. {{PROVISIONS }}