More imports of Chilean grapes are expected this season due to favorable weather and abundant rainfall, according to a USDA.
Chilean table grape exports to all destinations are expected to reach 620,000 metric tons in 2020-21, a 1.6 percent increase compared with the previous year. The U.S. imports about 46 percent of Chile’s table grapes, followed in volume by China.
The USDA report state, “Rainfall was abundant, especially in the month of June and climatic conditions during the spring have been favorable, thus fruit producers are expecting higher production volumes.”
Chilean fresh apple exports will total 655,000 metric tons, a 3.9 percent increase compared with last season, while pear exports are projected to decline by 4.3 percent to 111,000 metric tons because of a decline in pear planted area.
Area planted to table grapes in Chile dropped by 4.9 percent in the 2020-21 season, and now totals about 113,000 acres.
Even so, the report said Chilean grape production will remain unchanged from last season and total 780,00 metric tons. The largest drops in table grape planted area were 11.8 percent in the Atacama region and 14.1 percent in the Metropolitana region.
“Table grape production and exports has become very competitive due to the increase in production and exports from Peru, and demand for new varieties of table grapes in destination markets,” the report read.
Varieties like red globe and flame seedless have low margins, and growers have replaced acreage of those varieties with newer grape varieties or alternative crops.