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Peruvian Grape Exports: Projected Lead in 2022/23, but Future Growth To Plateau

October 22, 2023

According to Peru’s Ministry of Agricultural Development and Irrigation (MIDAGRI), the country’s table grape production reached 543,000 metric tons in the first half of 2023, a 9% increase over the same period of last year, which suggests that Peru may have been the world leader in grape exports for the 2022/23 season.

The ministry stated that the greater yield contributed to higher export volumes, indicating that Peru dominated global exports in 2022/23 with 595,000 metric tons of total shipments, surpassing Chile with its estimated 555,000 metric tons.

According to data from the ministry, Peru’s grape productivity grew from 20.9 to 24.8 metric tons per hectare between 2020 and 2022. The reported rise in output from January to June represents a positive sign considering the adverse weather that struck the country earlier this year. Cyclone Yaku, which made landfall in Peru in early March, and the subsequent coastal El Niño phenomenon, which prolonged the rainy season, were accompanied by the larger-scale global El Niño phenomenon, which caused floods in the north and drought in the central regions of the country.

Speaking of the 2023/24 season, industry experts have highlighted the effects of extreme weather events on the upcoming crop. Excessive precipitation in the north, particularly in the Piura region, Peru’s second-largest grape-growing area, has caused fungi to proliferate in grapevines, lowering expectations for the 2023/24 crop. Conversely, higher temperatures experienced in the central region of Ica, Peru’s leader in grape production, improved bud development and accelerated the vegetative growth of vines, prompting predictions of a greater yield than in previous years. In 2022, Ica produced 430,000 metric tons of fresh table grapes, which accounted for 47% of Peru’s total crop, while Piura harvested 266,000 metric tons, representing 29% of the country’s entire production.

The ministry has predicted that in the event of a mild global El Niño phenomenon, which will continue bringing climatic changes next year, table grape production will likely remain stable or even increase, as the first six months of 2023 saw a larger crop. However, in the event of a stronger El Niño phenomenon, more abundant rainfall in late 2023 and early 2024 will likely lead to an increase in pest issues.

Peru’s grape harvest season typically runs from October through April, with international sales surging in December and January. The initial export estimate released by the Peruvian Table Grape Producers Association for 2023/24 indicates a modest 2% growth in shipments. The forecast is expected to be continuously updated to reflect changing weather conditions.

In 2022, Peru exported nearly half of its table grapes to the United States (47%), with smaller volumes being shipped to the Netherlands (11%), Hong Kong (6%), Mexico (6%) and China (5%).

Image: Unsplash

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