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Heat lifts grape grower hopes
Matt Katich at his Swan Valley vineyard. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian

Perth's record-breaking hot summer has boosted the fortunes of local grape growers and ensured an abundance of high-quality fruit for consumers.

Nationally, the grape harvest this year will be up 10 to 15 per cent on last year's crop after a warmer and drier summer than usual across the country.

Australian Table Grapes Association chief executive Jeff Scott said the bumper harvest would benefit growers and consumers, with a big amount of high-quality, plump fruit produced.

Swan Valley grape grower Matt Katich said his crop had minimal losses since harvest began in early January and the end to a bumper harvest was in sight.

"The prices have been reasonable and I don't think too many growers would be complaining this year," Mr Katich said.

"It's been a good year, we've had no nasty weather or anything.

"While the fruit loves a warm summer, it can knock you round a bit as a grower."

More than 2000 growers in Australia produce about 125,000 tonnes of table grapes a year, with almost half the country's production sent to an increasing number of markets around the world.

Late season table grapes, which make up about 70 per cent of production, come from WA and the Sunraysia region of Victoria.