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.
Despite the continuation of the zero covid tolerance policy in China, there was a better outlook in Shanghai over the last month. The port and transport situation is returning to normal capacity, gradually lifting sanitary measures in the last weeks of May and hopefully back to normal by the end of June.
Approaching the end of the Chilean grape season, lower arrivals and openings of imported grapes in the Chinese markets were recorded during the month compared to April. The red seedless and Red Globe grape groups once again dominated the market, displacing the supply of white seedless grapes, which suffered a sharp decline, and black seedless grapes.
The Chinese grape market continues to be supplied predominantly by Chile, followed by Australia, with small lots from Peru and South Africa, among other countries. Sales remained good in general, varying from good to fair for Australian red seedless and black seekless grapes.
In Guangzhou, similar to the previous month, the varieties with the highest volumes available were Red Globe and Crimson Seedless, followed by NSS grape varieties such as Autumn Royal and Sweet Favors. For white seedless grapes, the group with the lowest volumes on the market, the dominant varieties were Autumn Crisp and Sweet Globe.
Looking at the last month (week 18 to 21), quotations of the white seedless grape group averaged US$4.29/kilo, showing a 3% increase compared to last month (week 14 to 17), and a 6% decrease compared to the previous season, in the same period. Red seedless grapes traded at US$2.91/kilo (-21% monthly; +3% y/y); Red Globe closed at US$2.18/kilo (-24% monthly; +2% y/y) and finally, the black seedless grape group traded for US$2.90/kilo (+1% monthly; -29% y/y).
During the month of May, supply was mainly composed of Chilean table grapes, although Mexican table grapes were on the rise, with increases mostly towards the end of the month, especially in seedless white varieties.
In general, Chilean fruit recorded a wide heterogeneity in terms of condition, dividing the market and prices, amid continued delays. That said, logistical problems were alleviated somewhat with respect to last month in conjunction with lower arrivals.
Regarding the prices for the month, imported seedless white beans averaged US$3.37/kilo, with a monthly variation of +4% and annual variation of -14%; in seedless red beans the average was US$2.10/kilo, varying by +9% compared to April and -19% compared to 2021, same month; in black seedless the average price was US$2.23/kilo, increasing by 2% monthly, while registering 19% below the previous year; in Red Globe the average price was US$2.31/kilo, with a monthly difference of -5% and annual difference of -6%.
While India finished packing its fruit at the beginning of May, Chilean grape shipments decreased significantly. South Africa, on the other hand, completed its supply with fruit from the end of the season.
As the weeks went by, the market slowed down considerably, due not only to the fact that demand for this fruit dropped, but also to the fact that the fruit was not optimal in terms of quality and condition. Consumers favored purchases of seasonal fruit like stone fruit, which was fresher.
It was difficult to find good lots in the market, so buyers were willing to pay for them. The quality and condition of the fruit conditioned the market, putting pressure on sales and forcing the grapes to be sorted and repacked.
Poor fruit sold at a slower rate than better quality and condition, hampering sales overall. The main problems reported were grapes with rot and loose skin. Towards the end of the month, the market became clearer and grapes from Egypt began to appear, in a later start to the season. For the rest of the European countries, such as Spain and Italy, a normal start is expected within the estimated times.
Finally, as far as selling prices are concerned, as a reference, during week 21 of 2022 the good quality, general condition, seedless white and seedless red overseas varieties in the punnet format were offered at respective averages of €2.20/kilo and €2.45/kilo; while, in the case of Red Globe, quotations averaged €2.05/kilo (8.2 kilogram box) and €2.40/kilo (4.5 kilogram box).
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).