The European table grape market has been a challenging environment recently with large volumes of product coming from Peru. German, Dutch and French traders have had to deal with extremely low prices, especially at the beginning of the season. Italy’s current production is about 1 million tons. Italy is the second largest grape supplier in the world, with only China ahead of her. Italian grapes come mainly from Puglia and Sicily. The Puglia season has been marked by low market prices combined with unexpected weather conditions and substandard quality fruit.
This year’s grape market did not get off to a good start in the Netherlands. According to Dutch importers, there was supply in the market before Christmas with large volumes of fruit arriving after the holidays. Peru was mostly responsible for this phenomenon, producing 100% more than last year. In January the market favoured Red Globe grapes.
India expects a 15% higher yield this year. Although market conditions are not currently favourable, they are expected to start improving for white seedless grapes from India, in the second half of February.
Supply is high on the French market. “Almost all white grape varieties and origins are currently available. South Africa, Peru and Namibia are shipping large volumes of Victoria, Regal Seedless, Sugraone and Thompson. There are also still some French muscat grapes on the market, but that supply is tailing off,” says a trader at Rungis.
Australian production is estimated at 200 000 tons for 2018/2019 of which 130 000 tons are intended for export (65%) and 70 000 tons for the domestic market (35%). Production for export is expected to increase by 20 000 tons this season.
Chinese grape quality in 2018 was not ideal. This was mainly because of above average rainfall during harvest, in several important production areas, which took a toll on the grapes. The fruit has consequently had a limited shelf life and is not suitable for long-term storage.
The season is over in the early South African production areas. It has been a difficult season. The Orange River region started late, and the sizes of some varieties did not meet the Chinese market requirements, meaning reduced quantities of grapes were exported for Chinese New Year. The smaller Olifants River region has also had a difficult time, mainly due to drought. Last year, several growers cut down their vines. As a result, the region has supplied very low volumes this year, and the effects of the drought are still visible.
With the end of the Californian season in sight, the US is currently importing from Chile and Peru. Shipments from Peru have been arriving in America since the end of December. Before the New Year there was still a lot of Californian product on the market, leaving little room for the grapes from Peru. The situation has improved considerably since then. In January, the market for Peruvian grapes was more stable than it has previously been. This is partly due to Peru having exported large shipments to destinations outside the US, also taking advantage of the situation on the European market. Click here to read the full market overview. – Fresh Plaza