Grapes consolidate position as Peru's second-largest fruit export

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Grapes consolidate position as Peru's second-largest fruit export

Table grapes retained second spot in Peru's fruit export rankings last year with exports rising 4% year-on-year to US$272 million between January and October, according to the country's Association of Exporters (ADEX).

This comparison however doesn't fully take into account the significant drop in production from Peru's northern Piura region as a result of a coastal El Niño event earlier in the year. Some of the effects of this were felt in the last two months of 2017 and are ongoing.

In a release, ADEX agri-exports manager Paula Carrión Tello said table grapes had a 15% share of total fruit exports, coming behind avocados and ahead of blueberries, mangoes, mandarins and bananas. 

"Table grape growth is mainly due to the diversification of markets and varieties, and an increase in production areas in Piura and Arequipa," Tello said.

Red Globe continues to be the leading variety but in recent years there has been greater diversification with exporters also shipping varieties such as Flame Seedless, Sugraone, Thompson Seedless, Crimson Seedless and others, ADEX said.

Click here for a more in-depth analysis of the varieties gaining ground in Peru and neighboring Chile. 

Ica and Piura continue to be the major production regions, and the fruit itself reaches 49 markets with the U.S. (US$86 million) and Hong Kong (US$44 million) making up close to half the total.

Other significant importing nations include the Netherlands, mainland China and the United Kingdom.

ADEX reported the highest percentage growth was seen in Singapore with a whopping 1519.8% increase to reach US$1.4 million), followed by Finland (223.8%) and Nigeria (204.1%) which had imports of no more than US$150,000 each. New markets in 2017 ncluded the Dominican Republic and the Ivory Coast.

Carrión said around 30% of the harvest takes place in the first half of the year with the remaining 70% in the second six months.

"This year there was a lower harvest in Piura. This region usually produces from September to January while in Ica the harvest is from November to February," she said.

"Something that stands out is that both are balancing out their production volume."

ADEX said the leading exporter for the period was El Pedregal with US$25.1 million, followed by Verfrut subsidiary Rapel (US$21.8 million), Agro Victoria (US$16.8 million), Safco (US$16.4 million) and Ecosac (US$14.7 million).

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