Decofrut presents the State of the Market for table grapes during September, looking at supply, demand and pricing for three markets - the U.S., Europe and China.
Sales of imported table grapes in the Chinese wholesale markets have shown normal to low trends during the course of the last two weeks when the arrivals began, although they have seen good prices.
There is currently strong competition with local, as well as seasonal fruits, which has slowed the turnover of incoming shipments within the markets.
Imported supply, which seems to be increasing gradually, mainly from the U.S., has been intermittent, and largely air arrivals. Despite the slow turnover in markets such as Guangzhou, inventories are being quickly cleared due to the limited volumes that are available for sale.
Regarding the varieties available in the Chinese market, over the last two weeks, a lot of white seedless and black seedless grapes have been displayed.
Demand has been marked by a favoring of the white seedless varieties, which reached an average sale price of US$8.38 per kilogram at week 36 this year, a 19 percent increase year on year.
Meanwhile, the shipments of black seedless grapes are ready to market, which have been more abundant and less intermittent reached US$7.15 per kilogram during the same week, an increase of five percent compared to the previous week.
It's expected that prices will adjust as volumes from the U.S. and other sources become more relevant in the market, fostering competitiveness and decreasing prices.
During the last month, the U.S. table grape market has been rather slow, giving priority to other seasonal fruits.
Currently, the North American supply is mainly composed of Californian and Mexican grapes (which are decreasing), in addition to the first volumes arriving from Peru.
Last month, the movement of table grapes was rather sluggish and fruit has begun to show some condition problems due to the slow rotation of the stored grapes. Adding to this are the extreme heat events that have affected the productive valleys and therefore the fruit's quality.
It is expected in the month of October with less competition from seasonal fruit, that there will be an upturn in demand, which has only been focused on higher-caliber fruit. These grapes have been scarce as a result of the drought that is affecting the producing valleys in the U.S., which could show favor to imported grapes mainly from Peru.
Regarding varieties for red seedless, there has been an adequate movement that has allowed them to maintain sale prices averaging at US$2.47 per kilogram, a 4 percent increase year on year.
In the case of white seedless, the movement has been slower with prices in some cases practically equaling production costs as a result of the rush to sell.
Last month, the prices of Californian white seedless grapes averaged US$2.58 per kilogram, a seven percent decrease year on year, showing lower values of US$2.39 per kilogram in recent weeks.
Finally, black seedless supply and demand have managed to maintain a certain equilibrium, which has allowed relative stability in prices averaging at US$2.55 per kilogram, a five percent increase year on year.
After the holiday period in Europe, the demand for some fruits such as stone fruit was decreasing, while for table grapes, little by little it gained more interest.
The market showed some reactivation with a balanced level of consumption, which was strengthened by sunny weather and rising temperatures.
Likewise, it should be noted that the area of new value-added table grapes has been calm during the last weeks as the market has had enough supply.
Regarding sales prices, as a reference, during week 36 the seedless varieties in punnet format were offered between €1.90-2 per kilogram while Red Globe, particularly the Italian variety, was offered at around €1.65 per kilogram.
Currently, the Italian supply is the most prevalent, with varieties such as Sugraone for white seedless while red seedless is seeing Crimson Seedless and Scarlet Royal.
Additionally, seeded table grapes are available with the white category beginning to see the transition from Victoria variety to Italy.
In the red group are Red Globe and the black seeded group has the Palieri variety.
The quality and condition of the Italian supply are generally good and over the weeks, color in red and black seedless varieties has improved.
On the other hand, Thompson Seedless from Greece is offered with good quality and taste, but in some cases, with varied colors.
From Spain, you can find varieties such as Sugraone, Crimson Seedless, Sweet Celebration and Red Globe among others.
The Turkish Sultana variety also plays an important role in the market, as it is sold at lower prices. The range of varieties is wide, including the new ones as well as the original varieties.