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US (CA): Anticipated grape volume similar to last year
As the table grape season begins in California, growers are predicting volumes similar to last year.
Crop volume looks like it will be at a normal level, said Nick Bozick of Richard Bagdasarian, Inc., a grower in Coachella. Quality is anticipated to be good and the timing of harvest has been slightly ahead of schedule.
"We're about a week ahead this year because it's been a little warmer," said Bozick, "we started Perlettes and will pick Flames soon." He added that although California grapes compete with Mexican imports, it looks like a promising year due to a retail pipeline that was left relatively empty because of light Chilean imports.
Early estimates for the upcoming season are slightly higher than last year's, said Karen Brux, vice president of Marketing for the California Table Grape Commission. Last year's total volume was 97.1 million boxes, and Brux thinks that number should climb in 2012.
"We will have another estimate in July, but the early estimate is for 101.6 million boxes," she said.
Harvesting will continue in the Coachella region through mid-July, it will begin in the San Joaquin Valley at the start of July and will continue through January of next year.
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