The logistics crisis is affecting the quality of Peruvian table grapes this season, according to Camila Borgesa, the Assistant Commercial Manager of the Peruvian agricultural company Agrokasa.
She told The Grape Reporter that although the pandemic has not affected this year as much as in 2021, logistics issues have meant that a continuous service could not be maintained, with port delays, increases in freight rates and slow customs clearance, among other issues, contributing.
“There were not enough spaces on ships to cover export capacity. Delays in the import of materials caused problems with costs and shortages, due to the increase in freight rates. Delays in the ports, slow customs clearance, rising costs, more days of energy and ships with cases of covid stopped at sea are part of the reality of the current season,” said Borgesa.
In addition, Borgesa pointed out: “If you don't have a good yield in the fields, it is difficult to survive.”
Peru is one of the main exporters of table grapes in the world. Agrokasa's fields are located in Ica, where the table grape campaign starts in October in week 43 and goes on until the week beginning February 6.
This season, Agrokasa’s table grape exports are projected to total 2 million boxes, thanks to the potential of the new varieties. The company predicts 30 percent growth for 2022, in comparison to 2021.
The main goal is to maintain quality, try to adjust costs in the best way possible, without affecting the product, work hand in hand with logistics and be prepared for any situation, said Borgesa.
Agrokasa also hopes to add Japan to its already existing export markets, which include: the U.S., UK, Europe, China, Korea and Thailand.
However, Borgesa admits that inflation and the strengthening U.S. dollar are making for an uncertain future.
"The market is unstable and difficult to measure. It is difficult to make projections with something that is so changeable and variable. Freight varies from month to month, and it is difficult to pay for your products at this rate. A year of great uncertainty where if you are not a solid company, it is difficult to keep up".
According to the Peruvian Table Grape Growers Association (Provid), this season will exceed 64 million boxes of table grapes shipped, which represents an annual increase of 12 percent, and positions it as the second largest exporter of table grapes internationally, in terms of volume.