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Retailers requesting larger sized seedless grapes

There’s a change in seedless grape production. With the US being a major market for seedless Chilean grapes, Ignacio Vidales says most supermarket buyers are requesting bigger sizes of 19mm and larger. “Currently Chile produces varieties like Thompson, Flame and Perlett in sizes of 16-17mm,” he said. “The desire for bigger sizes is making Chile’s growing areas replace the actual varieties for Autumn King, Scarlet Royal and Arra 15 that can be sold easier in the United States.” 

Chile finishing up
In terms of grapes, the main volume is coming out from Chile although Vidales says they are also able to supply customers with grapes from South Africa. Red Chilean globe grapes are currently their main grape shipment, produced in Copiacó (3rd region), Coquimbo (4th region), San Felipe (5th region), Metropolitan area, Rancagua and San Fernando (6th region). Chile’s Season started two weeks early this year and should finish in the middle days of May. “We’re now shipping the last containers of red globes from there to long transit destinations such as Middle East and South East Asia. Once Chile is over we will start with Mexico, to continue with grapes from California.”

Growing conditions have differed from last year when Chile suffered heavy rains. “This has been a good and stable season in terms of climate conditions,” said Vidales. “The volumes had been normal with maybe five per cent less volume than last year but because of the good climate fruit can last more and with better arrivals.”

Cannibalization of stone fruit in Europe
Prices are now slowly going up and should keep this way since Peru’s grapes are no longer available; South Africa has less red globes than previous years and Europe stone fruit harvest is coming a little later than usual. “Europeans consume less grapes once the stone fruits are available,” he said.

For more information:
Ignacio Vidales, Sales Manager LATAM & Canada
Salix Fruits
Tel: 770-872-7824

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