The hot summer has proved a spectacular success for South African grapefruit growers.

Martin Dunnett, marketing director at Capespan, said the season had been “one of the strongest on record”.

“At one point on the wholesale markets, prices reached between £10 and £11 a carton for Marsh Seedless and £2 more for Star Ruby,” he said.

Apart from the effects of the summer weather, Dunnett said the continued contraction of the industry led to a reduction in fruit available for the European market.

While there is still some late shipped fruit in the pipeline for the UK, he expects the British market eventually to receive around a quarter of the 800,000 cartons that Capespan will sell.

Other South African citrus has also done well with Navel oranges overcoming a late start.