It is shaping up to be an overlap of grape shipments this spring from different parts of the world. Late season imported Chilean grapes will be overlapping imported grapes from Mexico, as well as grapes from the desert of California.
Unfavorable weather earlier in the season has made for tight supplies of red grapes coming from Chile as compared to the supply of green grapes. Chilean grapes are arriving by boat on both U.S. coasts. But that situation could flip next month, as more red grapes are expected in the U.S. market.
The supply of red grapes should pick up around late March or early April. By early May, red grapes from Mexico will be crossing the border into the U.S.
During the 2015 season 110.5 million boxes (109.3 million 19‐pound box equivalents) of California table grapes were shipped. The California grape industry surpassed the 100 million box mark for the first time in 2012. Since then, the total crop volume has seen three consecutive years over 110 million boxes.
The 2015 season total of 110.5 million boxes was the third-largest crop volume in the industry’s history, just below the 2014 total of 110.9 million. The largest crop to be shipped was in 2013 at 117.4 million boxes.
California grape shipments are available from May through January. With the 2016 season only about six weeks away, Mexican grape shipments typically start anywhere from a few days to two weeks earlier than California’s first grapes that come out of the Coachella Valley. Most Mexican grapes cross the border at Nogales.