Tim Clarke, President of Vanguard International, provides an update on grapes out of California and Mexico.
Tim Clarke, President of Vanguard International
Overall growing conditions have been good throughout California lending itself to a positive outlook for the upcoming season. Timing initially was expected to be about 10 days earlier than last season, but due to some cooler weather this has pushed harvest back a few days, landing at around a few days earlier than last season.
The California table grape estimate for 2020 is 106.5 million boxes. This is slightly below the 3-year average of 109.5 million boxes. However, it is more volume a than 2019’s carton total of 104.8 million boxes.
“We will not see availability from the main growing region in California, the Central Valley, until July,” says Clarke. “Although things are forecast for a good start-up out of this region.” The earliest district to harvest in California, Coachella, has started in small quantities for domestic markets and will begin packing for export during week 22 with the Early Sweet variety. Green seedless varieties that will be available out of this region include: Early Sweet®, Sugraones, Valley Pearl, and AUTUMNCRISP®. Red seedless varieties that will be available out of this region include: Flame, Jack’s Salute®, and Scarlet Royal. Black seedless varieties that will be available are: Summer Royals, MIDNIGHT BEAUTY®, Sweet Sapphire®, and Sable.
These varieties will be available by both air and sea shipments from Vanguard. “We continue to work with a number of high-quality growers and will continue to work hard to secure the best fruit for our customers,” mentioned Clarke.
Grape season in Mexico is underway and has been focused on the domestic market for the past 10 days with exports being minimal. The overall crop estimate is down about 20 percent from last year with estimates for 2020 at 19.7 million boxes. There was challenging weather earlier this season that slowed down the front end, but now volumes are ramping up and expected to be available in full force from now on.
“Export availability has been limited so far and we expect to see an increase starting weeks 22 and 23,” Clarke shared. There will be an overlap of availability between Mexico and the early district in California, Coachella, that will last through June.
“Our Mexican growers have a really nice selection of varieties with many of the preferred proprietary varieties that we grow in Peru and we will be in a great position to meet our customers’ needs for great tasting fruit. Shipments out of Mexico by sea will be limited to shorter transits, however, availability by air will be effective for us to accommodate demand.”