Chilean grapes will be down 25 percent this season following damaging rains a few weeks ago, according to importer/exporter Vanguard Direct, LLC. of Issaquah, WA.
If this estimate is correct it would be 10 percent less than the 35 percent estimated two weeks ago by the Chilean Fruit Exporters Association.
Expectations are now for exports of 65 million boxes, compared to original forecasts of 85 million boxes, with mid-season varieties most heavily damaged.
The development comes during the first season in years in which Chile was expecting an increase over the previous season in its total grape volume.
The situation is very different in Peru, which by week 5 had shipped 48 million boxes, 12 million more than at the same time in the 2019-20 season.
Peru is now projecting a total crop of 52-54 million boxes representing a 12 percent increase.
Vanguard points out 16 million boxes of Peruvian green seedless grapes have been shipped season to date, which is up 31% over last season. Sweet Globes are up 48% more than last season representing 60% of the total green seedless. The green seedless variety showing the largest decrease from last year has been Sugraone with 30% less shipments than last year.
Meanwhile, 12 million boxes of Peruvian red seedless have been shipped season to date, which is up 13% over last season. The varieties with the most significant increases are Allison Reds at 141% and Sweet Celebrations with an increase of 51%.
Ica has shipped thus far 14 million boxes of table grapes and is predicted to ship approximately an additional 12 million boxes over February and March. Overall, the Ica crop is down 2%.
Vanguard notes Peru and Chilean grape demand is strong in Mexico, and increasing in Canada, the U.S., and Asia with California completing its storage season.
It’s been extremely difficult to get containers in and out of port due to congestion and delays.