Chile sending higher share of grape volumes to U.S. East Coast

Most Read Top Stories
Chile sending higher share of grape volumes to U.S. East Coast

Chile has increased the amount of table grapes bound for the U.S. East Coast in the season to Jan. 13, according to Decofrut statistics.

Figures show that 80.3% of shipments to the U.S. were sent to the East Coast during the period, compared to 77% last year.

Fisher Capespan chief operating officer Mark Greenberg said total U.S.-bound volumes were down during the period due to production issues, while the East Coast shift was likely to do with local competition.

"Through 13 January, 2012, Chilean exporters loaded 71,100 metric tons of table grapes to the U.S. compared to 73,155 metric tons shipped through the same date last year for a decline of around 3%," he said

"This is likely a reflection of the fruit volume lost in the early spring snowfall in the Atacama Region. With table grapes from Coquimbo and the earliest part of the Aconcagua forming a more significant part of Chile's table grape loadings in week 3 and onward, this deficit will be erased in short order."

Greenberg said the East Coast table grape market has "finally found itself some momentum and stability".

"While promotions are still only getting started, retail chain stores have begun to focus more attention on table grapes as pricing has allowed them to put more attractive retails on the product and have finally given it some prominence in the shops.

Market situation

Greenberg said Flame seedless arrivals were expected to outpace white seedless arrivals by a factor of two-to-one, with 1.4 million cases expected in week 4.

"California red seedless are less and less a factor with each passing week. Flame promotional activity is also ramping up although more momentum will be needed as Flames from Copiapó, Coquimbo and Aconcagua will overlap in the market come week 5," he said.

In the period to Jan. 19, Chilean Flames were selling at US$18-20 for X-Large (700) and at US$16-18 for large (500). Greenberg said light black seedless arrivals through week 3 were selling at prices ranging from US$26-28 for X-Large (700) and US$25-26 on Large (500).

He added that prices were "expected to come down a notch" in week 4 due to the increase in more large caliber Flame grapes.

Greenberg said there was an abundant supply of Peruvian Red Globes and a relatively light supply from Chile.

"Prices for Red Globes are US$18-20 for X-Large (700) and US$16-18 for Large. The Peruvian product is exceptionally fine looking product."

Subscribe to our newsletter