Brazilian table grape exports soar in H1 as other major fruits see big gains

Brazilian table grape exports soar in H1 as other major fruits see big gains

Brazilian fruit exports rose by 21% in volume in the first half of the year, driven by a more-than-threefold rise in table grape shipments.

The country exported 430,000 metric tons (MT) of fruit between January and June, up from 355,000MT.

The value of exports over the period also rose by 15% year-on-year to US$384 million.

There were strong increases in exports of melons and mangoes - Brazil's number-one and -three fruit exports by volume over the six months.

But table grapes saw the biggest percentage increase of any top-10 fruit. Exports rose by 224% in volume to 12,000MT, and by a similar percentage in value to US$24 million.

However, Jorge de Souza, technical project manager of fruit exporters' association Abrafrutas told FreshFruitPortal.com that the increase was largely due to the absence of climate-related issues seen in recent seasons.

"In reality, what happened in the last few years was that we had various weather problems in our main growing areas. So we didn't have enough export-quality fruit," he said.

"This year the weather has been very good, so we've been able to send a larger quantity of export quality fruit to the market."

But he also attributed the rise to ongoing work by the association and the table grape industry to boost imports.

Brazil mainly exports seedless table grape varieties but also grows traditional seeded varieties like Red Globe.

Over the period, mango exports rose by a little over 50% in volume and value to 75,000MT and US$82 million.

Meanwhile, lime exports increased by 3% in volume and 13% in value to 66,000MT and US$66 million. And melons grew by 39% in volume and 26% in value to 92,000MT and US$58 million.

Banana exports also increased by 57% in volume and 30% in value to 45,000MT and US$14 million.

Brazil seeks diversification outside EU for fruit exports

The European Union remains Brazil's leading fresh fruit market, according to De Souza. But he said the industry is trying to diversify and find opportunities elsewhere.

One destination they are looking at is the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a country that he says has a very competitive fruit market but that pays well for high-quality tropical fruits.

De Souza said he was optimistic for how fruit exports would perform in the rest of 2019; a notable consideration is how the high temperatures in Europe could lead to more demand for tropical fruit.

"We expect to have the same performance in the second half of the year as in the first," he said.

See the complete table of fruit exports here (in Portuguese).