Earlier 2018 Mexican table grape season kick off expected

Unlike last year, when the Mexican table grape season experienced a remarkable delay, this year MAS Melons & Grapes president, Miky Suarez, who has been heavily involved in the Mexican table grape business for more than 30 years, predicts a back to normal season start, which traditionally begins the first week of May.

Mexican table grape production volume is estimated to be between 14 million and 16 million boxes, however, if weather conditions allow, there might be the possibility for a higher volume.

“I expect harvest to start the first week in May but chances are we could see a few table grape trucks crossing into the US the last week of April”, Miky Suarez explains. “During the first week or so, we are going to see lower crossings than the average we are used to seeing”, added Suarez.

Mexican table grape production is spread over five growing areas throughout the country. The first one, and still fairly small, Tuxcacuesco in the state of Jalisco, followed by Ciudad Obregon, Guaymas, Hermosillo and Caborca. The last four are all located in the northwestern state of Sonora, with Hermosillo being, by far, the country’s leading producing region.

While the state of Sonora represents over 95% of the table grape production in Mexico, 9 out of every 10 tons of Mexican table grapes are grown in Hermosillo and Caborca, according to the Mexican Department of Agriculture (SAGARPA), 

In addition to Perlette, Flame, Sugraone, Black Seedless and Red Globe, this season MAS Melons & Grapes will start marketing new varieties, known as Ivory from the Spanish-based SNFL Group, ARRA varieties and Early Sweet. And next year, the production of these new varieties will expand considerably.

“We are proud that, this season, the Ortiz Ciscomani family’s Agricola Orqui, S.A. de C.V. has decided to let MAS Melons & Grapes market a reasonable portion of their table grapes production, as we have had the privilege to distribute their honeydew melons and squashes in past years”, said Miky.

Regarding quality, Suarez expects Mexican table grapes to improve this season as the size of the berry is anticipated to be larger than average, and consumers typically value and prefer large size berries over the small ones.

MAS Melons & Grapes table grapes are marketed under the Desert Pride® brand and come in 18 lb boxes containing either 9-2 lb bags each or 4 lb and 3 lb clam shells, sold mainly to club stores such as Costco and Sam’s.

“Some of our table grape customers here in the US consider our company as a boutique-type distributor, as every single order received is thoroughly customized and consistently delivered under the highest quality and service standards”, Suarez added.

In addition to the United States and Canada, their key markets, this year MAS Melons & Grapes is also shipping table grapes to New Zealand and Japan, and if market conditions remain promising, to some southeastern Asian countries such as Malaysia and Singapore.

For more information:
Mikee Suarez
MAS Melons & Grapes, LLC
Tel. +1 (520) 377-2372

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