Global table grape exports declined last season, but the industry remains on an upward growth trajectory according to a recent report by Rabobank. The Rabobank grape report underscores that countries responsible for the global grape supply are confronted with formidable challenges such as climate change and escalating production costs, compelling them to actively pursue efficiency enhancements. On the demand side, there is a steady increase in the preference for green seedless grape varieties. Despite a 5 percent reduction in global exports during the 2022/23 season, numerous countries are strategically adjusting their production methods to meet market demand and optimize 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 at Rabobank. Weather irregularities present one of the foremost challenges for key grape suppliers across various regions. Chile, for instance, experienced an 18 percent decrease in exports, attributed to extensive uprooting of low-yielding areas. In contrast, Peru emerged as the leading exporter during the previous season, shipping nearly 600,000 tonnes of grapes, despite facing logistical disruptions stemming from political protests earlier this year. Rabobank has observed that increasing prices in primary destination markets are reshaping the retail landscape, favoring green seedless grape varieties. “While some markets witness a slight grape availability decline, controlled upward growth is expected,” Salinas said. Looking to the future, Rabobank predicts a shift in the variety mix, with a preference for green grapes over red. Proprietary grape varieties, distinguished by higher yields, reduced cost per kilogram, and improved quality, are poised to take center stage in the supply chain in the upcoming seasons, delivering benefits to both producers and retailers, as outlined in the report.
Written by: Sarah Ilyas