European grape market full as Chile waits for South African and Indian stocks to fall

The table grape market in Europe is still somewhat full with sales slower due to offerings from South Africa, India and Chile, all currently available. According to Maarten van Fraassen, responsible for Commercial Sales at Direct Source International, they have had grapes from Chile for the past few weeks now, but are unable to fully switch to Chilean grapes in retail channels just yet due to the SA and India offerings on the shelves.

“Although it is likely to be a promising season for Chilean grapes, which saw the first arrivals in week 12, we saw high-quality product coming from there. However, South African red is still on offer. India also sent a lot more grapes this time around. Before the season India was predicted to have 20% less fruit, but, year to date, they have shipped more fruit than last season. There is too much competition from other origins. At the moment there is too much fruit being offered in the market for both wholesale and retail. Retail is still ok, they all changed to India. Some retailers still have red grapes from SA. Therefore, we cannot change to Chile yet with retailers.

“We send table grapes Europewide. We expect the stocks to lower and the market conditions to change in about 2 weeks from now. Then we will see a change to Chile. Currently we see prices for Chilean punnets in retail between €1,20-€1,30. Loose grapes sold for between €19-€21, depending on quality, for a red seedless 8.2 kg box. The Easter sales in retail was not strong at all, so we lack a bit of power in the market,” notes Van Fraassen.

He said they hope the changeable and sometimes nice spring weather will continue in many parts of Europe. This will hopefully encourage people to go out more and buy fruit such as table grapes he noted. Direct Source International, based in the Netherlands, sources table grapes, citrus and exotic fruit from Southern Hemisphere countries such as Chile, Peru and South Africa. They also source plums from Italy and Spain.

“Thanks to our reliable partners in Chile, we import grapes from all three growing areas. The region Copiapó / Ovalle is the earliest production area followed by Los Andes / San Felipe and San Fernando / Rancagua. So far the weather in Chile has been stable and dry and this benefits the product. It has a fresh and healthy appearance, excellent flavour and a good shelf life. Besides the more traditional varieties such as Thompson, Crimson and Red Globe, there is also a nice selection of more new, promising varieties such as Timco, Jack Salute and Sweet Globe on offer," concludes Van Fraassen.  

For more information:
Maarten van Fraassen
Direct Source International
Tel: 0031 (0) 78 674 91 97

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