Peru's grape exports to rise 20-25% in 2011-12 - FreshFruitPortal.com

Peru's grape exports to rise 20-25% in 2011-12

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Peru's grape exports to rise 20-25% in 2011-12

A leading Peruvian agricultural consultant has estimated the country's table grape exports will rise between 20% and 25% in the 2011-12 season, website Agraria.pe reported.

Inform@cción Fernando Cillóniz president said volumes would be between 110,000 metric tons (MT) and 115,000MT for the season, compared to 92,000MT expected in 2010-11, the story reported.

While the predicted rise would be a boon for the industry, it still represents a slower growth rate than this season's expected 37.3% rise.

Cillóniz said grape exports would likely double in the next five years, with 2,000 to 3,000 hectares of new plantations each season, the story reported.

He said Peru had a great opportunity to sell grapes internationally in between the Californian and Chilean seasons, while in Peru itself the region of Piura would likely take over Ica in terms of production within six years, the story reported.

Ica currently produces around 80% of Peru's grapes across 7,000 hectares that have been exporting the fruit for 20 years, while Piura grows between 1,000 hectares and 1,500 hectares with better water availability and cheaper land costs.

"In comparison over the last three years, Ica grew 30% while Piura rose seven times; it's taking quicker strides and for that you can't discount that Piura will surpass Ica in production in five years," Cillóniz told Gestion.pe.

"From planting until harvest, the vines in Ica take 18 months and in Piura 12 months. Our competitors don't believe this, for what tends to be a long-term crop that produces better in the third or fourth year, but the tropical climate means Piura can be harvested annually."

Related story: South Korea opens doors to Peruvian grapes

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