Decofrut presents the State of the Market for table grapes during April, looking at supply, demand and pricing for three markets over the last month- in the U.S., Europe and China.
During the last month, the pandemic situation in Shanghai was critical, leading to a total confinement, with strict sanitary measures. This was in addition to logistics problems in the city's port, which saw a lack of capacity to store refrigerated containers (reefer).
Despite this, there were constant increases in arrivals of imported grapes, with red seedless grapes and Red Globe standing out as the groups with the largest volumes.
In terms of origins, the focus changed from Peruvian grapes to Chilean grapes as the dominant source in the markets, with batches from Australia and South Africa also remaining in competition, although to a lesser extent. Regarding the demand, sales with a generally good movement were seen for all the varietal groups, especially for Red Globe, which presented an steady inventory rotation throughout the month.
In the Guangzhou market, the largest part of the supply consisted of the Red Globe and Crimson Seedless varieties, followed by Sweet Globe and Thompson Seedless, both belonging to the white seedless group. In the case of black seedless grapes, the most popular varieties were Sweet Sapphire and Sable Seedless.
When considering the prices of the last month (weeks 14 to 17), the white seedless grape group closed at US$4.15/kilo, registering a reduction of 10 percent compared to the previous month (weeks 9 to 13) and a drop of 27 percent compared to last year. The Red Globe grape traded for US$2.96/kilo (+2 percent monthly; +1 percent annual), the red seedless grape group averaged US$3.85/kilo (-21 percent monthly; +12 percent annual). Lastly, the black seedless grape was traded for US$2.84/kilo (-33 percent monthly; -22 percent annually).
During the month of April, a wide availability of Chilean table grapes continued to be seen, together with a high heterogeneity in terms of condition, dividing the market, partly as a result of the logistical problems seen throughout the chain, both in origin as in destination.
As usual, prior to the marketing order for grapes in the US (April 10), there was an increase in Chilean arrivals, which then began to decrease, although with weekly volumes above the previous season. The supply was mainly made up of Chilean fruit, while other origins were scarcely registered.
Regarding the prices of the month, imported seedless whites averaged US$3.21/kilo, together with a monthly variation of +2 percent and an annual variation of -17 percent; in red seedless, the average was US$1.92/kilo, varying by -9 percent compared to March and by +2 percent compared to 2021, the same month; in black seedless, the average value was US$2.19/kilo, decreasing by 10 percent monthly, while registering 15 percent below the previous year; in Red Globe the average price was US$2.42/kilo, together with a monthly difference of -2 percent and an annual difference of +9 percent.
At the beginning of April, South Africa continued to dominate the supply of seedless grapes, with batches of fruit of variable quality and condition. Chile and India, for their part, continued to increase their presence, providing a greater range of varieties.
In addition to Thompson Seedless and Crimson Seedless, varieties such as Sonaka Seedless, Timco, Sugraone, Sweet Globe, Allison, Flame Seedless, among others, were added.
Peru on the other hand, with a smaller amount of fruit available, was present mainly with Red Globe and other varieties such as Timco, Allison, Jack's Salute, Sugraone and Arra 15.
In the second fortnight, the marketing of seedless grapes, particularly in the Netherlands, became heavier, due in part to the fact that demand was insufficient to absorb the growing volumes of arrivals.
India and Chile arrived with greater force, while South Africa, in the last stretch of their season, began to decrease their participation.
As the interest in seedless grapes decreased, the stocks of these varietal groups increased. For Red Globe, the scenario was different, because the demand for it remained at normal levels, as well as the sale prices. As has been the trend of the season, some batches of grapes from South Africa and Chile have arrived with varying quality and condition, with seedless varieties being the most affected.
Finally, regarding sales prices, as a reference, during week 17 of 2022 the white seedless and red seedless overseas varieties in punnet format were offered at respective averages of €2.20/kilo and €2.30/kilo; while, in the case of Red Globe, prices averaged €2.25/kilo (box of 8.2 kilos of grapes from Chile) and €2.10/kilo (box of 8.2 kilos of grapes from Peru).
Weeks ahead of the season’s first South African grape exports, South Africa’s table grape industry released a strong statement on Sept. 22. The indication is that its growers are ready for a much better season than the last.