Chilean table grape export volume to rise 16%, says Decofrut
A Chilean fruit industry consultancy has released a slightly more optimistic table grape volume forecast than the country's grower union, predicting a 16% rise in 2014-15 to 843,856 metric tons (MT).
In a recent report, Decofrut's information department said the production level would be similar to 2012-13,with a recovery in the early varieties affected by the September 2013 frosts such as Flame Seedless, Sugraone/Superior and Thompson Seedless.
The volume estimate is three percentage points higher than a preliminary forecast announced by Fedefruta at the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fruittrade Latin America event last month.
Decofrut said varieties like Crimson Seedless and Red Globe would continue the growth trend experienced in recent years, with the exception of vineyards in the IV (Coquimbo) region; this northern area will also have its late cultivars impacted by the ongoing drought, and Decofrut expects total production in the area will be down 12%.
The biggest spurt in production is set to come from the VI (O'Higgins) region at a rate of 43%, while the V (Valparaiso) and Metropolitana regions will see growth of 11% and 20% respectively.
Chile's table grape harvests began in week 47 in Copiapó in the III (Atacama) region, while the IV region has also entered production since then. The main varieties harvested to date include Sugraone/Superior, Prime Seedless and Flame Seedless, and Deofrut claims the fruit has been of adequate quality and condition.
Exports kicked off in week 49 with the first 4,400 cartons of seedless grapes shipped regionally within Latin America.