Delays cause Chile Red Globe grape oversupply

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Delays cause Chile Red Globe grape oversupply

Chile's early-growing Red Globe grapes are in high demand in Asian markets with competition from Peru, but the problem this year is they aren't growing so early with harvest delays in the northern Copiapó region.

Chile faces a significant overlap for its Red Globe exports, following a low number of degree days in the north and a surplus in the country's southern zone, according to market researcher iQonsulting.

The collection of 'early' grapes between Copiapó and San Fernando has progressed just 50% and while this is the third season harvests have been delayed, 2011 has been the most notable. Copiapó is the capital of the III (Atacama) region.

Oppenheimer Group product manager Lino Ratto tells the situation is getting 'worse each time' in Copiapó, where maximum temperatures have been lower than in previous seasons and lasted for shorter periods.

Chile's III (Atacama) and IV (Coquimbo) regions have had Red Globe grape harvests delayed by around a month, while the Metropolitan region of Santiago and San Felipe north of the capital have recorded harvests similar to what they were in previous years.

iQonsulting says the delays have led to a higher concentration of grapes in March, leading to lost market opportunities. This fact is echoed by Ratto, who warns Chile will need to wait before it can reach its grape export goals in China.

"From here it will be a few more years before we have more production in the early zones and have Red Globes at the start of January," he says.

But the cloud has a silver lining. iQonsulting highlights the delays will open up more opportunities in Europe, including Russia, especially for the fruit from the north that grew without rains and is therefore more resistant to travel long distances.


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