Ten years ago, the Chilean table grape sector began to promote the planting of new varieties as a way to improve the competitiveness of this fruit in international markets. On that note, this season will be an important milestone. For the first time, more than half of the exported volume will be of new varieties, which are set to make up 53% of the mix.
Those figures are according to the second export estimate, released at the end of October by the ASOEX Table Grape Committee. By comparison, new varieties made up 49% of exports during the 2021-22 season.
In this regard, the president of ASOEX said that although there will be a drop in the total volume of shipments this season, which so far is estimated at 8%, "the Committee's second estimate clearly shows the increase in exports of new varieties,” said the president of the entity.
“This season Chile will export more than 36 million boxes of grapes of new varieties. This means a growth of 14%, or 4.7 million additional boxes, which shows that varietal replacement in the industry is a reality, especially considering the decrease of traditional varieties by 25% or more than 10 million boxes compared to last season," the executive said.
New varieties: A wide and diverse offer available for all tastes
For this new season, it is projected that 48% of the new varieties to be exported will be red, 39% will be white and 13% will be black.
The growth of the new ones comes from the white varieties, which grow by more than 5 million boxes, that is, a 55% growth, reaching more than 14 million boxes. New red varieties remain at almost 18 million boxes and the new black varieties decrease by 7% to 4.6 million boxes.
Ignacio Caballero, coordinator of the ASOEX Table Grape Committee, said: "In addition to the significant growth in new varieties, a change in the composition of these varieties is forecast, since two of the three largest new varieties, Timco and Allison, both red, will drop by more than 700,000 boxes, reaching 4.5 and 3.6 million boxes respectively.”
“While the white Arra 15, Sweet Globe, Timpson and Autumn Crisp are the four varieties that contribute most to the growth of the new varieties, adding 4.3 million boxes, 92% of the total growth and are projected to reach 3.6, 3.0, 2.4 and 2.1 million boxes respectively," said Caballero.
Another red variety set to grow in volume is theSweet Celebration, which is forecast to rise by almost 3%, reaching 3.4 million cases.
In the case of the new black varieties, Caballero noted "the growth of Sweet Favors by 6%, reaching 1.3 million boxes, while the rest of the main varieties are maintaining or decreasing.
“Such is the case of Sable Seedless (-3%), Seet Sapphire (-9%), Maylen (-30%) and Midnight Beauty (-23%). In any case, the supply of new black varieties is quite attractive with more than 4.6 million cases,” he said.