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Chile: New table grape export season has begun

The national grape export season began with a visit to the Tres Soles farm by the region's authorities.

Due to the region's natural conditions, the grapes from Atacama are the first ones to be harvested in the country each season and score high prices in international markets, especially in the U.S.; the destination for about 70 percent of the region's shipments. This new season will be marked by the frosts in September and the ongoing labour shortage; factors that, according to experts, won't significantly influence the total production of the Copiapó Valley.

Alejandra Narvaez, APECO's manager, welcomed the current production process and said that, according to figures released by the Association of Exporters from the Copiapó Valley, this season's table grape shipments are expected to reach 13 million boxes. 

In turn, the regional secretary of Agriculture said he believed that this year's season would be successful for the exporters. "We are witnessing the first boxes that are coming out of the valley, the first cases from Chile. We are here because we expect this to be an excellent season, we've had all of the conditions required so that our Chilean products, especially the grapes in this valley, enjoying good prices in a market that is demanding fresh fruit matching the quality we have in the region," he said.

Currently, there are 7,500 hectares of table grapes in Atacama, a little less than half of the region's agricultural cultivated area. Alfonso Prohens is confident that the 2013-2014 season will be positive for the valley's farmers. "This fruit should be reaching the United States before Christmas, which is a very good date because consumption increases during that period. This year we will have an increase in production and price expectations will remain the same as they were last year, which was good year and we were missing boxes. Everything is ok in terms of the valley's performance and production, so we're happy with the job we've done. Now we only need to do the most important part, harvest the grape and pack it well so that the fruit reaches the consumers in different parts of the world. "


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