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Poor table grape market in North America

"Berlin's Fruit Logistica came to a close a week ago and exhibitors and visitors are back home." Those from the North American table grape sector who participated in the event, including producers, shippers or receivers, had some weak hope that they could return to an improved and revitalised table grape market, but no such miracle has happened. Table grapes imported into North America continue to be in the same disadvantaged position as in the previous season; maybe even worse," said Mark Greenberg at the start of his week 6 market report.

The professional highlighted that up until week 6-2018, Chile had shipped 85,650 tonnes of table grapes to the East Coast of the United States (USEC), compared to 131,800 tonnes in the same period last season.

"This is a 35% drop in volume, which is consistent with the later harvest this season. The total volume of table grapes shipped from Chile to markets around the world up until week 6 has reached 152,860 tonnes; 32% less than last year, when it reached 224,300 tonnes," he said.

"While the new table grape varieties offer some hope to rekindle the interest from retailers, these new varieties currently only represent about 12% of Chile's total table grape exports. This share will probably increase as the season progresses, and producers in northern Chile will have to intensify their plans to abandon the Flame and introduce the most productive and desirable varieties," stressed Greenberg.

Other weeks
According to Greenberg, in week 7, Chile expects to ship 1.8 million boxes of table grapes to the USEC, which will bring the season's total volume to 8.9 million boxes. This is 37% less than in the same period of the previous campaign. Most of this volume (710,000 boxes, or 39% of the total) will correspond to Flame grapes. But the shipments will also feature other red seedless varieties, some of which are patented varieties.

Later, at the end of week 8, the total Chilean arrivals to the USEC will exceed 11 million boxes; 33% below last season's figures.

Other origins
Until week 7, Peruvian suppliers have shipped more than 9 million boxes of seedless grapes to the USEC and another 900,000 boxes of Red Globes. But Peruvian seedless grape exports are in decline, since the seedless harvest is coming to an end.

According to Greenberg, in week 6-2018, Chilean Flame grapes were sold in the USEC for US$ 16-18 in the case of the XL (900), for US$ 12-14 in the case of the L (700) and for US$ 10, or even less, in the case of the M (500).

The Peruvian Flame and Crimson (for as long as they are available) stand about US $2 above the Chilean product.

White seedless grapes are doing a little better than red grapes. Chilean white seedless grapes are sold for US$ 18-20 (mainly US$ 20) in the case of the XL (900), practically the same as a week ago. The L grapes (700) oscillate between US$ 16 and US$ 18 and the M (500) white seedless grapes stand at US$ 12-14.

Peruvian and South African seedless white grapes also cost US$ 2 more than the Chilean ones.

Meanwhile, Peruvian Red Globes cost between US$ 16 and 18 in the case of the L (700) and US$ 18-20 in the case of the XL (900).

Source: SimFRUIT según informe Mark Greenberg

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