The general manager of the Association of Table Grape Producers of Peru (Provid), Alejandro Cabrera, stated that Peru had exported 68.9 million boxes of table grapes (of 8.2 kilos each) up until March 12, a figure that deviates from the second estimate of the 2022/2023 campaign that projected a 13% growth over the previous campaign.
“Now we estimate we'll export some 70 million to 70.5 million boxes with a projected 8.5% increase in volume. This estimate is based on how we're doing. We are in the last harvest season in the north and varieties that are also coming out in the south,” stated the executive, while indicating that the campaign would culminate approximately in mid-April.
Shipments were affected by the carriers' four-day strike in November, which particularly affected Piura, as well as by the demonstrations and road closures in December and in January, which had a strong impact on Ica.
“In addition, the cold season in the north at the beginning of the season delayed the volumes a little. There were several events that affected the table grape export harvest,” he added, noting that the final export figures will only be known once the campaign ends.
Shipments to Asia were affected
Shipments to Asian countries were among the most affected, Cabrera stressed. “The fruit's journey to Asia is long, as it takes 30 or 31 days for it to arrive there. Producers in Ica were unable to harvest, send their products to the packing facilities, or move containers to the ports for 12 days, which affected the fruit's maturation time. As a result, many producers opted to send their product to closer countries in Latin America, Central America, or North America,” he said.
As of March 12, shipments to China and Korea fell by 30% and 40%, respectively This also had an impact on prices, as the Asian countries offer the best returns, Cabrera added.
“Entry to Japan will allow greater diversification of shipments”
On March 22, the Japanese market was opened for Peruvian table grape agro-exporters. However, it is very likely that the country will only start making shipments to this destination in the 2023-2024 campaign.
“Entry to Japan will allow greater diversification of Peruvian shipments, deconcentrating markets that are more export-intensive such as the United States, the Netherlands, and China. In addition, it will allow us to have better returns and prices,” he added.