Varietal renewal is a necessity

Decrease in Chilean table grapes for Asia

Early varieties of Chilean grapes have been severely affected by the weather conditions during spring time. The grapes have not reached an optimum level of maturity, which has affected their quality and condition. "The table grape season is ending and, after comparing the volumes of the same date last year, we see there's been a 27% decrease in the volume exported to Asia. Unfortunately, this has not been reflected in selling prices," said Alfredo Chimenti, of Agrifruta SA.

"Not everything is negative, these climate changes promote technical improvements to increase the fruit's condition and quality. They also lead producers to invest in high precision equipment, and conduct varietal renewal. We need new varieties to adjust to the different export markets and to obtain earlier or later crops, depending on the target market we aim at. Currently, there is a big variety of table grapes. For this reason, in recent years, we have focused on positioning our Chimenti Globe ® variety, which is a mutation of Red Globe grapes with particular characteristics, in the Asian market," said Chimenti.

Since the domestic market is very weak, Chile exports 90% of its table grape production. Half of the Chilean table grape production is destined for the US market and the other half is exported to Europe, Asia, and South America. Harvest is expected to culminate later this month, so the sharp decline in exports is a very sensitive issue that requires preventive measures.

"The current exchange rate in Chile is more favorable than in previous years, which has helped the export sector. The problem are the markets; prices haven't adjusted to the exchange rate increase and there is a lower demand linked to the consumer's lower purchasing power. As a result, we need to differentiate our products, innovate, and improve our production efficiency and processes. We believe that a change in table grape varieties would be a great help to enter new market niches and stabilize exports," concluded the spokesman for the Chilean company. 

For more information: 
Alfredo Chimenti
T: +56 985270143

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