Chilean table grape volume shortage, Vanguard says
In the sixth week of its harvest season, Chilean table grape volumes look like they'll be down for the year. Importer Vanguard International reported on Tuesday that it expects a shortage in the fruit for this import season.
Down about 12 million boxes from last year, the shortage is likely due to the drought the country experienced during harvest.
Additionally, many table grapes have gone through varietal reconversion efforts, meaning that many new plantings have yet to come into production - making volumes lower.
One of Chile's main growing regions - Region III - harvested 100,000 fewer boxes of seedless grapes this year because of excessive rain.
The first two weeks of shipments will see a shortage of green seedless varieties in general as well. Another big growing region - Region V - experienced a 30% shortage of green seedless.
That being said, other regions in the country have yet to report their numbers as harvest is still wrapping up and the Metropolitan region's harvest has yet to begin.
Flow of Chilean table grape shipments
While Chile has exported 11.8 million boxes thus far, the industry doesn't expect the tempo to keep up for much longer.
Current imports are right on par with last year's 11.7 million boxes at week six and, similarly to most years, Chilean table grape imports will continue with a strong flow of shipments until the end of February. Then, at the beginning of March, shipments will drastically decline, said the company.
Vanguard has received shipments from the fifth and sixth regions have not shown significant impacts from drought.