The general manager of Exportadora Safco Peru, Benjamin Cilloniz Guerrero, said that the table grape industry continued to grow in Peru. At the end of February, he said, the country had exported more than 56 million boxes of table grapes (of 8.2 kilos each), compared to the 49 million boxes shipped in the previous season.
Peru currently has 20,000 hectares of table grapes for export. The increase in the cultivation of varieties that have higher productivity, such as Sweet Globe, Autumn Crisp, and Sweet Celebration, among others, offers the potential to reach a production of almost 70 million boxes without having to increase the acreage. As such, the country will become a close competitor to Chile, the world's leading table grape exporter, which has had significant losses this year due to the weather.
“The fall in Chile's table grape production due to the rains and the tremendous increase in shipments that our country has had this season (more than 15%), will allow us to be almost on par with Chile. In other words, both countries will position themselves as the main suppliers of table grapes in the world (around 60 million boxes),” he said.
Red Globe variety reduction
According to Cilloniz, the area devoted to Red Globe grapes will continue to decrease in Peru. However, he does not rule out that many farmers who cannot access the patented varieties will continue to use this variety. "This variety will continue to be an alternative if Peru slightly reduces its Red Globe volumes by around 15 million boxes, achieves yields of 4,000 boxes per hectare, and sells it at an average price of 17 or 18 dollars FOB (per box)," he said.
It should be noted that Safco Peru has gone from exporting about 21 million boxes of Red Globe grapes to a stable nearly 17 million boxes in the last 2 years.
Greater demand for green grapes
Green seedless grapes have gained more importance in the market. According to Cilloniz, they reach a higher price than red grapes because there is an oversupply of the latter, especially from Chile. In addition, he said, there has been an impressive demand from Chinese consumers for green varieties recently.
"Today the green varieties have a better price, but they are also the ones that have been planted the most, the increase in Sweet Globe is impressive and behind it is Autumn Crisp and also the Timpson. As a result, the price of green grapes will decrease in the future," he stated.