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State of the Grape Market - October, 2021

Decofrut presents the State of the Market for table grapes during October, looking at supply, demand and pricing for three markets - the U.S., Europe and China.


China

The Chinese table grape market has remained relatively stable over the last month. At the opening, volumes started with good prices and movement, slowing down as the days go by.

The low supply of imported grapes competes directly with local seasonal fruit and sees low inventory turnover as a result, which affects the condition of the fruit and therefore its prices. It should be noted that during the last month the "golden week" of holidays in China was celebrated, influencing the market's demand.

Currently, the entire imported supply is U.S. grapes, the majority of which have been destined for the Guangzhou wholesale market. The volumes are mainly made up of air arrivals, which are intermittent with delays of approximately two weeks.

Regarding varieties, in the Chinese markets, a lot of black seedless grapes have been recorded and in smaller quantities, white and red seedless have been seen.

Black seedless has been the group with the highest volume averaging US$7.42 per kilogram in week 40, which as a result of the rush to sell suffered decreases in marketing value; an 18 percent decrease compared to the previous week, although a 62 percent increase year on year.

In the case of white seedless, slow movement has been seen with prices that are trying to stabilize averaging $9.31 per kilogram, a nine percent decrease compared to the previous week.

Finally, red seedless is the category that offers the lowest volumes and has the least turnover, closing on average at $5.96 per kilogram, a 10 percent decrease from week 30, though seeing an eight percent increase year on year.


U.S.

During the last month, the U.S. table grape market continued showing slow movement for the category, mainly given the low level of support seen by consumers, keeping prices generally down compared to the previous month. This is despite seeing similar volumes in California's stocks the previous year.

Domestic fruit continued to present some problems of low-movement produce condition and climatic problems in California over previous months. Regarding competing supply regions from the Southern Hemisphere, Peru and Brazil had record tonnages traded although still scarce supply.

Regarding varieties, white seedless presented the greatest drop in prices with an eight percent decrease to average $2.36 per kilogram with a variation of seven percent down year on year, though there is an expectation to see a rebound of prices towards November.

For red seedless varieties, prices also registered monthly decreases averaging $2.36 per kilogram which is a four percent decrease compared to August and a three percent increase year on year. The situation could change towards the end of the year given the lower volumes of Scarlet Royal recorded in California's fruit inventories in September and its lower projection compared to 2020 in December.

Black seedless varieties saw low consumer interest though prices were a little more stable than other groups, registering a decrease of only two percent in the monthly average at $2.46 per kilogram while seeing a 13 percent increase year on year. For the American Red Globe, volumes are still limited while prices averaged $2.36 per kilogram, seeing a 16 percent increase year on year.


Europe

The demand for European seedless grapes has remained at normal levels, but sales prices have tended to fall over the weeks.

The Italia grape from Italy has seen demand shrink as interest in this variety has fallen year after year. Palieri dominates the offering of black seeded varieties, while Red Globe is there but with faint color in some areas.

White seedless, in addition to Regal Seedless, Thompson Seedless and Sugraone, as well as Autumn Crisp (Italy and Spain), Sweet Globe (Italy) and Sugar Crisp (Spain) can already be found. Batches of Jack's Salute (Spain), Crimson Seedless (Italy, Spain and Greece), Sweet Celebration (Spain) and Scarlet Royal (Italy) are being marketed for red seedless varieties.

From the Southern Hemisphere, Peru will be preparing the first containers to ship to Europe, which could begin to arrive in November. Brazil has already arrived on the continent, but many importers are opting to save the fruit until the market is clearer and more receptive. Generally, week 45 is when the Brazilian grape can be found in the ships since many of the programs with overseas fruit begin around that date.

Today, there is enough European supply and it is looking good in terms of quality and condition, and therefore is being real competition for the early Southern Hemisphere grapes.

Regarding sales prices, during week 39 white and red seedless varieties in punnet format were offered at averages of €1.95 and €2.10 per kilogram, respectively.

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