Australian grape season running early, says exporter

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Australian grape season running early, says exporter

One of Australia's leading table grape grower-exporters says the harvest is between one and two weeks earlier than usual, with expectations that product quality would be fine despite recent high temperatures. uvas_72395350 _ small

In a statement, The Grape House Pty Ltd's Charlie Costa told his company had the technology in place to mitigate the heatwave's effects.

"Our property is fitted with drip irrigation plus a cooling  system of overhead sprinklers where we can irrigate 50% of the property at one time. The current heat will have no impact on our quality.," Costa said.

"At this point we are shipping Flame seedless and Menindee seedless grapes. Next week we will start shipping Crimson seedless."

His comments come after Australian Table Grape Association (ATGA) chief executive officer Jeff Scott mentioned the recent weather bode well for sugar content in the fruit.

On the issue of restrictions for the Chinese market, Costa said he believed good relationships could be maintained with the East Asian giant, emphasizing the industry needed to "focus on all markets", including Indonesia, Malaysia, Fiji, China, Hong Kong, the Middle East, Russia, Canada, Europe and New Zealand.

Regarding the opening of the South Korean market, he said volume was not significant enough to judge the effects of the new option, while Indonesian quota changes were positive for the sector.

"The Indonesian market is very important to us with varieties such as Red Globes. We are pleased that they have doubled the [import] quota and we need to maintain and increase if possible."

When asked about the effects of Chilean strikes on his exports, Costa did not believe they would have much of an impact.

"We do not believe it will change the environment significantly as the Australian product generally meets a different market requirement to Chilean produce. Chile will resolve their issues quickly."



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