U.S. table grape storage volumes a quarter lower than previous season

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U.S. table grape storage volumes a quarter lower than previous season

U.S. table grape volumes in cold storage as reported by the USDA are down by a quarter over last year.

As of Oct. 31 there were 13.2m boxes in storage, which is 27% lower than the 18.1m boxes reported at the same time last year. That season saw worryingly high stocks during October and November, which then cleared rapidly from December.

The latest figure is slightly below the 2017 season - when by the same date there were 13.7m boxes in storage.

The most recent update provided in the USDA's Western Fruit Report Grape Cold Storage Summary also shows that stocks have increased by 13% since the previous update from Oct. 15.

In early October the California Table Grape Commission was forecasting a total crop of 109m 19-pound boxes. 

The initial spring estimate was for 116.2m boxes, while the second forecast in late-July projected the crop to be 112m boxes. By comparison, last year the crop was 115.6m boxes, and the five-year average is 110.4m boxes.

Autumn King and Alison stocks rise since mid-October

The two varieties that have seen stocks increase most significantly in the second half of October are Autumn King and Allison.

Autumn King volumes have increased from 2.5m boxes to 3.6m boxes. The figure remains below the same date of the previous two seasons, which were both in the 4m-box range.

Meanwhile, Allison stocks have risen from 1.2m boxes in mid-October to 2.5m boxes. In 2018 there were 2m boxes reported in storage.

The 'other red' category has also risen slightly from 1.8m to 2.2m. 

The most significant decline over the second half of October came from Scarlet Royal. Stocks of the variety have fallen from 3m boxes to 1.9m boxes  - nearly half last year's level, but on par with 2017.

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