Chile: Table grape returns 49% higher

This year, the producers of table grapes in Chile had the highest returns of the past seven seasons. According to data from the Federation of Fruit Producers of Chile (Fedefruta), the producers who grew the four main grape varieties (Red Globe, Crimson, Thompson and Flame) during 2014 had the highest net income.

The biggest jump was observed in the Thompson variety, which generated a record return of $1.56 dollars per kilo produced, i.e. a net income of $31,200 dollars per hectare of this variety; 48.6% more than what was obtained in 2012-2013 of this particular grape.

The net income of the Crimson Seedless variety increased by 24.3%, in the 2013-2014 season to an average of $1.38 per kilo, i.e. $ 27,600 per hectare. According to the Uvanova Commission, the ideal production costs for this variety should be around 23,000 and 25,000 dollars per hectare.

The increase of the Red Globe variety, the latest grape in production and the one with the most important volumes, was more moderate, between $1.02 and $1.06 per kilo, generating an average income of $27,560 dollars per hectare. The cost per hectare of this variety ranges between US $23,000 and $20,000.

"We shouldn't forget that this season was very unusual for all varieties, especially because of the frost that damaged the production of early varieties such as the Thompson, which had a decrease in exports by more than 13%," noted the director of studies of FEDEFRUTA, Alfredo Garcia. He also stated that this rise in net income did not necessarily mean that the campaign was better for the farmers affected by the weather event of 2013.

The returns are the payments that the fruit exporters make to producers once they've sold their boxes in the target markets, so this analysis by Fedefruta allows producers to compare the work done by the fruit exporting company. "With this tool, the producers can make a better decision about who will market their fruit abroad," said Garcia.

The dollar above 600 pesos will only be perceived in the exports of 2015
Despite the rise in the exchange rate, which is currently above 600 pesos, the income of growers during the 2013-2014 season were calculated on a dollar that averaged 500 pesos, the same level its had since 2009 to date.

"This means that the productive sector has not yet benefited by the rising dollar, so we must wait for the returns of 2015 and the exchange rate at that time to see if the growers actually end up capitalizing on this opportunity," added Alfredo Garcia.

A couple of weeks ago, the 2014-2015 table grape season started in the earliest areas of Chile, such as the Valley of Copiapo, confirming this season's promising outlook both in quantity and quality. However, the Region of Coquimbo, which has been affected by a drought for more than eight years, only has water reserves to supply the early and intermediate crops. Thus, expectations there will be a significant decrease in the boxes of late grapes, such as the Red Globe.

Source: ELmostrador

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