In 2019, Mexican fresh grape exports to the United States increased by 43% over the previous year and reached a record of 601 million dollars. These figures position the country as the second supplier of this fruit to the US market behind Chile, with 748 million dollars, a drop of 17% over the previous year. Other prominent suppliers were: Peru (42 million dollars) and Brazil (23 million).
In total, the United States imported fresh grapes for 1.804 billion dollars in 2019.
Grape and Mexican production
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, Mexico is trying to develop new varieties that are more productive and disease resistant; however, access to genetic research is expensive and has been difficult to obtain.
In addition, there are production challenges regarding labor. Labor needs in Sonora have increased from approximately 3,000 to 5,000 workers, and companies have faced a shortage of workers who want to work in agriculture. Safety, long working hours, and remote environments have led to an increase in worker shortages.
The harvest of the 2018/19 season exceeded the initial estimates because the climate was ideal for table grape production and high yields were achieved, according to the Department of Agriculture. Some of the main grape varieties that Mexico produces include the Perlette, Flame, Sugraone, and Red Globe varieties.