Agronometrics in Charts: A Look at the US Table Grape Market

By Agronometrics | 15 December 2023

In this installment of the ‘Agronometrics In Charts’ series, Sarah Ilyas studies the state of the grape market in the US. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.

The USDA recently released its Fresh Apples, Grapes, and Pears: World Markets and Trade report. The report highlights the drought in the Panama Canal watershed which has reduced freshwater levels, impacting shipping volumes. October 2023 marked the lowest rainfall since 1950, making it the second-driest year. The Panama Canal Authority has reduced transit capacity, increasing vessel wait times. This affects East Coast shipments, notably for table grapes from Peru and  Chile.

On average, the United States imports nearly 270,000 tons of table grapes from Chile, with 75 percent of shipments entering the United States via East Coast ports. For Peru, East Coast ports are even more critical at 85 percent and averaging 230,000 tons. The Port of Philadelphia is the top port of destination for both countries, accounting for over 90 percent of their East Coast shipments. Almost all of Mexico’s shipments enter the United States overland through Arizona and Texas. Canal disruptions may lead shippers to explore alternative routes, potentially affecting transit time and fruit quality. U.S. table grape imports for 2023/24 are forecast to rise slightly to 760,000 tons, assuming normal Panama Canal shipping volumes. The impact on East Coast imports remains uncertain.

grape volumes by market 3

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.

(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

grape volumes by market 4

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.

(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

The United States’ table grape production is projected to witness a substantial increase of 67,000 tons, reaching a total of 878,000. This forecast is based on the comprehensive survey conducted by the USDA-NASS, as detailed in the August 2023 Crop Production report. These surveys were undertaken in June, predating the impact of Hurricane Hilary, which struck California in late August. Final production figures are slated for release by NASS in May 2024. In contrast, exports from the United States are anticipated to decrease by 37,000 tons, amounting to 210,000, due to diminished exportable volumes. 

Turning to Chile, its table grape production is projected to rebound significantly, surging by 89,000 tons to 745,000. This surge is attributed to abundant winter rains, boosting yield and more than compensating for losses from ongoing declining acreage. Higher supplies are expected to drive exports up by 68,000 tons, reaching 565,000. The United States remains Chile’s principal market, accounting for nearly half of its total exports.

grape volumes by history 28

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.

(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Peru’s table grape production is expected to remain steady at 776,000 tons. The vineyards in the northern regions around Piura are experiencing increased susceptibility to fungal disease due to warmer temperatures and higher humidity, leading to reduced volumes. However, more favorable growing conditions in and around Ica to the south are anticipated to boost output, offsetting losses in the north. Exports from Peru are forecast to remain nearly unchanged at 595,000 tons, reflecting sustained demand in Northern Hemisphere markets. If realized, Peru would maintain its status as the world’s largest exporter, marginally ahead of Chile.

grape volumes by history 29

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.

(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

In our ‘In Charts’ series, we work to tell some of the stories that are moving the industry. Feel free to take a look at the other articles by clicking here.

All pricing for domestic US produce represents the spot market at Shipping Point (i.e. packing house/climate controlled warehouse, etc.). For imported fruit, the pricing data represents the spot market at Port of Entry.

You can keep track of the markets daily through Agronometrics, a data visualization tool built to help the industry make sense of the huge amounts of data that professionals need to access to make informed decisions. If you found the information and the charts from this article useful, feel free to visit us at where you can easily access these same graphs, or explore the other 21 commodities we currently track.

Written by Sarah Ilyas

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