Global table grape exports declined compared to the previous season, but appear to remain on a growth trajectory, according to a recent Rabobank report. Supplying countries grapple with various challenges while striving for efficiency improvements. Green seedless varieties are gaining popularity, with demand on the rise.
Grapes continue to be one of the main fruits traded globally
Despite a 5% global export decrease in the 2022/23 season, many countries are adjusting their production to meet demand and enhance operational efficiency. “This was the second-highest global table grape export season in history, only surpassed by the previous 2021/22 season. We expect the upward trend in exports observed over the past decade to continue in the coming years,” says Gonzalo Salinas, Senior Analyst – Fresh Produce at Rabobank.
Weather irregularities play a significant role in the challenges facing key suppliers in different regions. Chile saw an 18% export decline due to extensive uprooting of low-yielding areas and other profitability-enhancing efforts over the past ten seasons. Meanwhile, Peru emerged as the largest exporter last season, shipping nearly 600,000 metric tons, despite logistical disruptions caused by early 2023 political protests.
Prices are rising in the main destination markets
Rising prices in primary destination markets are shifting the retail landscape, favoring green seedless varieties. “While some markets witness a slight grape availability decline, controlled upward growth is expected,” noted Salinas.
The variety mix of the future will be green rather than red
The future table grape variety mix leans toward green rather than red. Proprietary varieties, with higher yields, lower costs per kilogram, and improved quality, will be at the forefront of the supply line in the forthcoming seasons, benefiting both producers and retailers.
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