Sonoran table grape estimate revised down

June 26 , 2024

In recent weeks, several industry media reported that the Mexican region of Sonora would have a “record” table grape production this year. However, this has not been the case.

FreshFruitPortal.com spoke with Sergio Rene Lugo, director of Mexico Table Grapes, of the Association of Table Grape Producers of Sonora-Mexico, to clarify the campaign’s projections.

"To date, we have produced 18 and a half million boxes and we think we will reach 22 million," Lugo said regarding the estimate. 

Sergio Rene Lugo.If realized, this would mean a 12% decrease from late April’s 25 million estimate. The projections were presented at the San Diego Summit.

"When we presented our projection, we had very suitable weather conditions. But later, we had high temperatures of 104°F, when we should still be at 86°F," Lugo explained regarding the decrease.

"Last year we had 25 million boxes, which was extraordinary because there were 8 million boxes of the Flame variety. This year we project only 6 million boxes of this variety, so we have a difference of two million boxes," Lugo added.

According to Lugo, the end of the season is projected for mid-July.


As for the main cultivars of the season, Lugo pointed out that Flame, Early Sweet, Sweet Globe, Sweet Celebration, and Sugar One currently stand out in Sonora.

"Flame is the top exported variety, to date we have 6 million boxes of 8.2 kilos (roughly 18lbs.)," he emphasized.

He added that the association is projecting 8 million boxes of Flame to be exported by the state, a figure similar to last year, but "this year we will have 2 million fewer boxes of Flame and the variety represents about 32% of our total volume. Early Sweet accounts for 11%, and Sugar One for 10%, so the drop in Flame production is a negative impact".


The main destinations for Mexican table grapes are the United States and Canada, Lugo confirmed, with shipments of approximately 25 million boxes every season. Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, Central America, and South America also stand out among Sonoran grapes’ key destination markets.

Regarding the current season, he commented that the U.S. had a lot of fruit coming from Chile at the beginning of the season, "a situation that was increased by the issues at the Port of Philadelphia, since there was a lack of USDA inspectors, causing delays and causing many grapes to leave later compared to previous seasons".

This caused several growers to decide not to send the fruit to that market, Lugo said.

He added that, given these conditions, they have had to send grapes of larger size and go in search of emerging markets. Lugo said that the association is in contact with the authorities of the Servicio Nacional de Sanidad, Inocuidad y Calidad Agroalimentaria (SENASICA), to seek protocols for other countries, especially in Asia Pacific.

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