San Miguel starts the 2020/2021 Peruvian grape season with projections to increase production by almost one thousand tons. Almost 7,700 tons of this export fruit, mostly of the Sweet Globe® variety, will be sent from the South American country primarily to the United States and China.
“The fruit looks very well, and we have been working hard to improve quality. We have finished consolidating the packing operation into a single facility within the farm with the support of a strategic partner. This allows us to accelerate transfer times, minimize dehydration losses and maximize the use of this crop,” said Pablo Zócalo, Operations Manager at San Miguel in Peru.
Peruvian grapes are exported mainly to the United States, followed by China and some European countries. This year, San Miguel expects the Peruvian grape volume to grow 15% from the previous season, specifically the premium varieties, which are mainly sent to the US.
San Miguel has been growing its presence in the United States, consolidating in the 2019/20 season as the second Peruvian exporter of green seedless grapes to this country. The Sweet Globe® variety enters during a strategic window, in the California grape transition and prior to the entry of Chilean grapes. To complement the supply of green grapes, San Miguel also offers the Sugar Crisp® variety within this window.
On the other hand, China, the world's largest grape producer, has been increasing its green seedless grape production. “The presence of local green seedless grapes helps to drive demand in the counter-season because Chinese consumers start to incorporate them in their consumption habits and expect to find them in the shelves all year round. We enter in an early window, just before the Chinese New Year. That is why we expect a good demand for the transition between their own fruit and counter-season fruit,” explains Anya Jaworski, Product Manager for Avocado and Grapes at San Miguel.
In addition to usual sales, this year San Miguel has piloted the fall harvest of Sugar Crisp®, and this is the first time that double harvest for export is explored with this variety in Peru. Eighteen hectares were harvested and 12 containers were exported. Due to the success of this first experience, the company plans to conduct double harvest in 100% of Sugar Crisp fields (80 hectares) in 2021.
San Miguel in Peru: The advantages of multi-origin production
In Peru, the Argentine company has more than 1,200 hectares where mandarins, avocado and grapes are produced. The major destinations for Peruvian fresh fruit are the United States, followed by Asia and Europe. The Argentine Company settled in Peru in 2017, when it purchased Agrícola Hoja Redonda S.A., adding a strategic point of origin due its exit to the Pacific Ocean.