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"The area planted with licensed grape varieties far exceeds that of traditional grapes in Peru"

At the end of the 2022-2023 campaign, the Association of Exporters of Peru (ADEX) announced on TVPerú Noticias that Peru has once again become the world's leading exporter of table grapes. Shipments reached 526,857 tons, according to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The growth of the Peruvian grape sector has been remarkable over the last 20 years and has gone hand in hand with that of Provid, a non-profit association founded in 2001, which currently accounts for more than 70% of the volume of Peruvian table grapes exported worldwide.

In the 2023-2024 season, the acreage stood at 22,343 hectares, with Ica representing 49% and Piura 37% of the total cultivated area, according to data from SENASA, the National Agricultural Health Service of Peru.

"We've had a good table grape export campaign," says Manuel Yzaga, president of Provid, "partly thanks to political stability, which has allowed us to export the fruit smoothly week by week, without any roadblocks, and partly due to unfavorable weather conditions for cultivation in North America, as well as in other parts of South America, which resulted in a lower supply in the market. In fact, when Peru started its export campaign, around week 38, the market was almost empty."

Three decades ago, the main varieties planted in Peru were the Crimson, Thompson, Flame and Sugraone, and later, after the opening of the Asian market, also the Red Globe. "However, starting in 2015, the Red Globe started to lose market value due to oversupply, which led many producers to uproot their crops. Although the price of Red Globe grapes began to rise again in 2020, prices dropped again in this latest season due to economic difficulties in the Chinese market," says Manuel Yzaga.

In the 2023-2024 campaign, the most cultivated varieties were the Sweet Globe, which accounted for 22% of the certified area, the Red Globe (16%), the Autumn Crisp (14%), the Sheegene 20 - Allison (7%) and the Sweet Celebration (5%), with a clear upward trend compared to last season for the Autumn Crisp grape (+47%) and a downward trend for the Red Globe grape (-13%).

Last season, white seedless grapes accounted for 54% of the cultivated area, while the red seedless took 25%, the Red Globe, 16%, and the Black Seedless, 5%. An upward trend was observed for white varieties, while the red varieties lost ground.

75% of the acreage was devoted to licensed grapes and 25% to traditional ones, while just four years ago, traditional grapes stood above licensed grapes. "Traditional grapes, including the Crimson and Thompson varieties, are losing ground due to them failing to reach a sufficient number of boxes with the adequate quality for export," says the president of Provid.

Regarding licensed grapes, International Fruit Genetics (IFG) and SNFL Group, now united as Bloom Fresh, and Sun World, were the three main breeders, with each respectively accounting for 50%, 25% and 22% of the total licensed areas.

As for exports, a record was set in the 2022-2023 season, with 71.4 million boxes of 8.2 kg shipped to foreign markets. Approximately 90% of the shipments are made between week 40 and week 3, with the peak of the campaign reached in weeks 47 and 48. "Last season, however, due to the influence of El Niño, exports dropped by 12%. In the north of Peru, the crop suffered due to high humidity rates. Shipments from the regions of Piura and Lambayeque fell by 30% and 40%, respectively," says the president of Provid.

"We still don't know what will happen in next campaign; however, I believe the supply could increase, as we'll have cooler weather due to the influence of La Niña, so there will likely be a bigger production," says Manuel Yzaga.

In the 2023-2024 season, 59% of grape shipments went to North America, 21% to Europe, and 13% to Asia. The U.S. was the biggest destination (46%), followed by the Netherlands (12%), Mexico (9%), and China (8%).

According to the president of Provid, the development of the Peruvian table grape sector will depend on the degree of knowledge of the producers about the cultivation and its risks. "We cannot be carried away by short-termism; we must focus on the quality of the fruit and on cost control. And when I talk about costs, I am not referring to labor, since workers deserve a fair wage. In fact, the salary paid to workers in the Peruvian table grape sector exceeds the minimum wage established by the Government, as the country's labor market is governed by the principles of supply and demand."

The top 10 table grape companies in Peru are a testament to the high degree of commitment and professionalism in the sector. "Another big advantage for Peru's agricultural sector in general," says the president, "is the country's monetary stability. The Central Reserve Bank of Peru does not depend on any political powers, and as such is able to keep inflation low and prevent large fluctuations in the exchange rate."

(Source of graphs and tables: Provid)

For more information:
Manuel Yzaga (President)
Provid (Table Grape Producers Association of Peru)
Calle 21 N.º 713 Of. 205
San Isidro – Lima, Peru
Tel.: +511 475-1756
[email protected]

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