U.S.-bound Mexican grape exports surpass initial forecasts

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U.S.-bound Mexican grape exports surpass initial forecasts

The Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA) has highlighted a steady flow of Mexican table grapes into the U.S. this year, with the state of Sonora having just exported its 14 millionth box for the season on Tuesday.

This puts the industry on track to well surpassing the total estimate for 14.171 million, as daily crossings at Nogales, Arizona are still robus at over 300,000 boxes a day and are expected to continue for another two to three weeks.

"Larger berry size, young vineyards producing more than normal, and diversion of volume from Mexico to the USA are the likely explanations of the variance," says John Pandol, director of special projects for Pandol Brothers and chairman ad the FPAA's grape division.

Despite the extra 15% or 20% of volume, distributors have reported an orderly market. Like the 2015 season, more than 50% of the volume is harvested in a three-week period, and supermarket promotions were in place at the proper times, according to the association.

"Nothing frightens a seller more than talk of a short crop," said Pandol.

"The distributors want to set up ads and programs; growers resist because they feel ads are unnecessary at the lower volume.

"Distributors respond by saying something like ‘14 million grapes won’t sell themselves.’ It seems that this year we created the necessary demand at key times."

Related story: 'Best start in four or five years' for Mexican grapes

Photo: www.shutterstock.com


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