Peru to lead South American grape export jump in 2012-13

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Peru to lead South American grape export jump in 2012-13

South American table grape producers are expecting to see a 6% rise in exports for 2012-13 to 1,093,000 metric tons (MT), according to iQonsulting figures.

Peru is forecast to increase exports by 20% to 179,000 metric tons (MT) with Red Globes accounting for three quarters of this volume.

IQonsulting said Peru's projected growth figures were due to an expansion of land devoted to vinyards.

"Peru's increased volumes are due to an increase in plantings averaging 2-3,000 hectares per year as well as the number of orchards which are in their second year that are reaching significant volume productions," said the consultancy.

Chile is predicted to increase exports by 4% to 847,000MT. IQonsulting said this more modest expansion was due to lack of rain in the north of the country limiting production with more growers opting to send grapes to the strongly performing raisin market.

Brazil is predicted to experience a slight increase in overseas shipments of nearly 3% to 66,600MT. The country's main producing area Petrolina is expected to yield fruit of "exceptional quality" due good weather conditions and low humidity.

However, Brazil's largest grape producer told the country should be shipping fewer grapes this year due to the strong domestic conditions, while U.S. importer Pandol Bros confirmed it had heard similar predictions from suppliers.

"Since June some producers have been harvesting for the domestic market, whose strength is continuing to be an attractive option for 95% of their production," said iQonsulting.

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