Table grapes posed challenge in 2009-10 season, exporter says
Cold and frost reduced Chilean table grape exports in 2009-10, but late delivery in California this year may provide an opportunity to recover, says Isaac Bon, general manager of Santiago, Chile-based Compañía Frutera del Norte.
And the news was not all bad for the recently ended season, Bon said. Less supply meant higher prices in the U.S. last November and December, he said in a news release.
“That´s the transparency of the supply and demand market,” he said.
In 2009-10, fewer than 800,000 tons of table grapes were shipped, compared with 850,000 tons in 2008-09, according to Fedefruta, a fruit growers association. In 2009-10, 102 million cartons of grapes were shipped from Chile, down 7.7% from 2008-09, according to the Frutera del Norte news release.
Chile’s table grape exports are forecast to rise 12% in the 2010-11 season, according to iQonsulting, a fruit industry consultancy.
With the Produce Marketing Association convention coming up in October, Bon hopes to get a better idea of the prospects for this season. He said his company is working on introducing the Moscatel variety, a seeded grape, to the U.S. market, which is used to seedless grapes. More than half of Chile’s table grapes are shipped to the United States.
The company is also working to make nectarine production more efficient in order to ship riper, better-tasting fruit to the West Coast of the U.S, according to the release.