According to data from the Mexican Ministry of Economy, Mexican grape imports between January and July 2020 registered a year-on-year fall of 23.9%, totaling 50.3 million dollars. The country's main supplier of grapes was the United States, with imports that totaled 43.7 million dollars. It was followed by Argentina with (5 million), Chile (1 million), and China (0.5 million).
Mexico imported a total of 48,416 tons of grapes in the first seven months of the year.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) forecasts that Mexico will produce 391,168 tons of grapes in the 2020/2021 season, i.e. 4% less than in the 2019/2020 commercial season. This decrease in production is due to the frosts in February and March that affected a significant growing region in Sonora, the largest grape-producing state in the country, and insufficient sunlight during the growing season. The most affected varieties were the Perlettes and other red seedless varieties, such as Sweet Celebration and Arra 29.
Sonora is expected to produce 320,000 tons of grapes this season, accounting for more than 80% of the total national production. The state is expected to achieve yields of 16.41 t/ha with an average of 2,500 plants per hectare, which is higher than the national average yield that is estimated at 15.8 t/ha.
Consumption and imports
The USDA forecast that Mexico will consume 271,269 tons of grapes in the 2020/21 marketing year, a slightly lower volume than in the 2019/2020 marketing year because consumers buy lower-cost fruits.
The USDA decreased its consumption forecast for the 2019/2020 marketing season due to the effects of COVID-19 in the Horeca sector and the decrease of the consumers' purchasing power.
According to forecasts, the country is expected to import 87,741 tons of grapes in the 2020/2021 marketing year, a slightly lower amount than in the previous period due to the decrease in demand.
US suppliers export grapes to Mexico from August to December and from January to February, before and after the Mexican season. Chile usually exports from January to April, as their production is primarily counter-seasonal to US production. However, some Chilean grapes are also available during California's early and late season, when they compete directly in the Mexican market.