Peru expected to ramp up China-bound grape exports for 2014/15
Peru is set to become the second biggest grape supplier to China for the 2014/15 season thanks to industry efforts in developing the market, according to the Chinese Peruvian Chamber of Commerce (Capechi).
Capechi estimates the Andean country will send 8.5 million boxes of fruit to the Chinese market for the season running from October through March.
The volume will be split almost exactly between mainland China and the island territory Hong Kong, receiving 50.7% and 49.3% respectively.
If the figures prove correct, Peru will likely displace the U.S. in terms of China-bound export volume and become second only to neighboring Chile.
Information released by Capechi also indicated 97% of the total shipments would consist of the Red Globe variety.
According to the group's business intelligence director Miguel Galvez, the campaign will have two well-defined phases.
The first will run from October until December, during which time 30% of the season's volume - equivalent to about 2.5 million boxes - is expected to be sent.
The fruit will predominantly originate from the north of the country, most notably the areas of Piura with 1.4 million boxes and Ica with 600,000.
The second and 'stronger' phase will run from January until March, over which time 6 million boxes are expected to be shipped.
The latter phase also includes Chinese New Year on Feb. 19, with large arrival volumes expected just before the festival.
"Without doubt these volumes have been achieved thanks to the ongoing efforts of the grape producers and exporters who have been working hard to position Peruvian grapes in the Chinese market as a product of quality and guarantee, with appropriate colors and sizes for the market," said Galvez.
The campaign's first grape shipment has already set sail from the northern port of Paita and is due to arrive in Hong Kong next week, where the fruit is expected to fetch an average price of US$17.90 per 8.2-kilogram box.
Evolution of exports
Both Peru's production and its annual China-bound exports have been increasing over the last few seasons, with shipping volumes having risen from 3.2 million boxes in the 2011/12 season to 7.1 million in 2013/14.
The value of fruit exported during the 2013/14 campaign totaled US$151 million, but the average per-box price of US$21.15 was lower than the previous season which recorded US$22.78.
Hong Kong also paid more attractive prices for the fruit last season, with a box averaging US$21.34 compared to US$20.92 in mainland China.
Photo: Leon Brooks, via www.public-domain-image.com