The Chilean grape harvest started six weeks ago, in the country’s Region III. The grape harvest starts in the north of the country and moves south as the season progresses. Region III is almost done with the harvest of the seedless varieties. Unfortunately, volumes coming out of the region were lower than usual by around 100k fewer boxes for the seedless grapes, due to excessive rain.
Region III wraps up harvest
Vanguard International reports: “The Copiapo valley is wrapping up on Allison and Adora varieties that are expected to be harvested next week, and then should finish up completely. We will only have El Huasco Valley harvesting Red Globes until the end of February in III Region.”
Region IV has already finished harvesting all of the green seedless grapes and is starting with some volumes for the red varieties. “In this region, suppliers from Ovalle and Vicuna are starting to harvest Red Seedless, comprised mostly of Crimson, Timco, and Allison varieties. This region in also starting with a limited number of Red Globe variety,” Vanguard International states.
New plantings mean lower volumes
Chilean growers have been switching their varieties around a lot in recent years in order to move towards more volumes of the IP varieties. This has led to some limited availability of volumes for this season, as vineyards are being replanted. Vanguard International reports: “In VI Region, all early varieties have started harvest, including Sugraone and Flame Seedless varieties. Due to replantings, these particular varieties are starting to disappear in Chile.”
The green seedless varieties are seeing lower volumes, and in the coming two weeks of shipments a shortage is expected. This is due to the lower volumes coming about of Region II due to the rains, but also because of a shortage in Region V, which is reported to have a 30% shortage. “We will need to wait for Region VI and the Metropolitan Region’s harvest to begin to get more volumes of Green Seedless varieties,” shares Vanguard International.
On par thus far, but not expected to last
Due to the replanting of the orchards, combined with weather issues such as the drought , Chile is expected to harvest around 12 million boxes less – harvesting a total of 70 million boxes of table grapes.
“Although Chile has exported 11.8 million boxes of table grapes thus far this season, which is on par with last year’s 11.7 million up to week six, this will not last for long,” reports Vanguard International. “The regions we’ve received table grapes from so far (Region V and Region VI), have not shown significant impacts from replanting or the drought. We should see the effects of these implications on the later varieties. Therefore, we will probably have consistent and similar volumes until late February and see supplies taper off dramatically in March.”