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State of the Grape Market - December 2021

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


China

Over the last month from week 51 and on, gradual increases were seen in China's table grape wholesale markets, which are almost entirely supplied by Peru, with some American and Australian pallets.

Due to the increase in the quantity and the diversity of the grapes from Peru, compared to what was offered by the United States in previous months, prices have shrunk over the weeks.

Inventories have been unstable, showing regular to slow movement for both white and black seedless grapes. However, the Red Globe variety showed fair to good movement in December.

Compared to November, Peru was the main and almost only grape exporter to the Chinese markets, reporting the first Red Globe volumes of the season in week 50 and increasing the quantity of white seedless grapes, with varieties such as Sweet Globe and Autumn Crisp.

Regarding varieties in the Chinese markets over the last month (week 50 to week 1), most of the volumes were made up of white seedless grapes, with few Red Globe lots and some black seedless pallets.

White seedless was reported as the group with the highest volume and averaged US$5.67 per kilogram, a 33% decrease compared to November but a 14% increase year-on-year.

Looking at Red Globe, the grapes closed at $4.02 per kilogram, showing a 69% increase year-on-year.

For black seedless grapes, few and intermittent arrivals were seen, reaching an average value of $7.37 per kilogram, a 25% increase over November and a 47% increase year-on-year.


U.S.

During December, the U.S. table grape market remained generally stable, with more movement of imported fruit, given the end of California's season and the poor condition of the state's fruit remaining in the market.

Despite the delay in Chile entering the market, the volumes that arrived could supply a moderate demand for grapes.

When comparing both seasons (2021/22 and 2020/21) there is evidence of growth in terms of total volume.

Prices were affected by the slow entry of competition, with Peru having the highest volume and better movement, registering an increase of 282% in the month of December (week 48-52) year-on-year. Brazil also increased its volumes six percent during the month.

Looking at the comparison of prices, these presented generalized increases during December as a consequence of the decrease in volumes by California and delays in arrivals.

Specifically, imported white seedless and red seedless averaged $3.75 per kilogram in December, showing a 23% increase for white seedless and a 30% increase for red seedless year-on-year.

The average price for black seedless was $2.99 per kilogram, increasing by 39% in comparison to November while similar to the previous year and only seeing a 2% increase.

Red Globe's average price was $2.65 per kilogram, with a monthly increase of 8% and a 2% increase year-on-year.

For domestic fruit, the average prices reported were $2.96 per kilogram for white seedless, with a monthly increase of 19% and an annual increase of 9%.

Red seedless averaged $2.74 per kilogram, varying 15% monthly and 23% annually.

Black seedless saw $2.70 per kilogram, with an 8% increase from November and a 17% increase year-on-year.

Red Globe was registered at $3.07 per kilogram, increasing by 10% monthly and 28% year-on-year.


Europe

Table grape consumption in Europe has been good in recent weeks, although generally average.

The Southern Hemisphere's table grape has been gradually gaining market share, a clear effect when looking at supply. The domestic supply was very scarce and was sold in its entirety during December.

This shift was in line with the observed increase in prices, which were at similar levels and in some cases even higher than the previous season.

The supply transition was good in general, with a lot of movement in the market.

Retail sales gained with the approach of the Christmas period, showing a greater number of weekly purchases, while the wholesale market continued with good fruit rotation, although somewhat affected by the decreases in temperatures.

Towards the end of 2021, some importers perceived a grape shortage as demand was not extraordinary due to the new restrictions caused by the pandemic, so the market remained fairly balanced.

A large part of the end of the year celebrations in several European countries were canceled, which directly affected the marketing channels of hotels, restaurants and banquets.

Red Globe from Peru dominated the supply of red seedless grapes, while Sugarone, Thompson Seedless, Sweet Globe, Sugar Crisp among others were present in the white seedless category from the country.

Red seedless varieties such as Crimson Seedless, Flame Seedless, Sweet Celebration, Timco, Jack's Salute, among others, were offered. Brazil was present with Sweet Globe and Sugraone, as well as Arra 15 and Sugar Crisp.

South Africa and Namibia supplied Prime Seedless and Early Sweet for white seedless varieties, and Flame Seedless, Starlight and Tawny for red seedless.

As a reference regarding sales prices, during week 52 the white and red seedless overseas varieties in punnet format were both offered at an average of €2.95 per kilogram.

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