Peruvian grape arrivals to be concentrated

Peruvian grape arrivals to be concentrated

Due to the difficulties experienced in 2020, Peruvian table grapes are likely to arrive at their destinations in large, concentrated shipments, according to a shipper.

Speaking with FreshFruitPortal.com, Andre Fattore, sales manager for El Pedregal S.A shared his views on the season and what is predicted for what is left of it. 

Fattore predicted that from week two or three, approximately Jan. 11 or 18 onward, the U.S. market is likely to see the arrivals of large shipments of Peruvian grapes. 

“Due to the strike, caused by agricultural workers in the region of Ica, in weeks 49 and 53, which blocked the highway connecting the south of the country with the ports of Callao and Pisco, for one week and the other for three days, respectively, [this] will probably result in a concentration of shipments in weeks 50 and 1, and arrivals in the US in week 2 or 3,” he said.  

“Green varieties should probably be the largest portion of this volume concentration, since it is a fruit that most producers have prioritized to harvest, due to their greater sensitivity to quality problems.” 

According to Fattore, the grape season this year can be separated into two sides, social environment and production. The first of these is the area that experienced major issues. 

“On the production side, both in the north and the south of the country, we had very good climatological conditions during the entire production period, which has resulted in good grape quality and good productivity per acre, especially with the new licensed varieties, like Timpson. On the other hand, the social environment has made logistical and harvesting operations very difficult. It is still difficult to quantify quality losses due to strikes, but surely something will be affected.”

Fattore stated he predicts a significant increase in exports for both green and red seedless table grapes with exports to destinations around the world reaching around 18 million boxes and 14 to 15 million boxes respectively.

This increase will also be seen in Peruvian grape exports overall, stated Fattore “Last year Peru exported 48 million boxes. This year we are forecasting around 55 or 56 million boxes.”

In terms of when the season will begin to wind down, his prediction was that this will occur towards the end of January or the beginning of February when Peruvian producers slow down and Chilean exports begin. 

Still, despite the good quality and high yield of the crop, Fattore said the increase in and concentration of volumes could likely affect the market, particularly in the U.S.

“We have seen an increase - around 21 percent in  volume - to the U.S from last year,” said Fattore, “The increase of volume will [probably] affect the prices during the whole Peru season and probably affect Chile as well.”

Additionally, despite the current calm, there is no guarantee that further problems may not emerge in the industry. Fattore acknowledged that while operations are back up and running as normal and the social environment seems settled, it is still difficult to say whether or not new issues will arise.