January grape imports may be light

From Fresh Fruit Portal | 21 December 2022

Overview of grapes in the U.S. market, complemented by charts from Agronometrics. Original published on December 21, 2022. 

South American grape imports may be a little light in the first two weeks of January, according to Mark Greenberg, president of Capespan North America, Inc., based in Montreal. “This will not be dramatic,” he underscores. “But, we may see a couple of weeks with lighter than normal volumes.”

The early Chilean grape harvest from the Atacama is running late, and Peruvian grape loadings have faced recent delays owing to protests that have prevented workers from getting to the farms and facilities to pick and pack.   But Greenberg tells Fresh Fruit Portal on Dec. 20 that growers are reporting that Peru’s military had been called in to help restore order and were clearing highways so farmworkers could get to work and containers could travel to port.

Peru, which is a major exporter of fruit to North America, has been in disarray since Dec. 7, when its president, Pedro Castillo, disbanded the national congress. Castillo was soon impeached by Congress, which wasn’t met well by the populists who’d voted in the leftist president in 2021. Rioting has occurred and highways have been blocked.

grape volumes by origin 8

Source: USDA Market News via Agronometrics.
(Agronometrics users can view this chart with live updates here)

Now, Greenberg reports the highways are clearing to allow vital grape pickers to get to work. The fruit has reached the major Peruvian port of Callao, which is just north of Lima. “Arrivals in North America have not yet been seriously disrupted,” says Greenberg,  “but we expect to see some gaps in supply by early January.”

Upon Castillo’s impeachment, Vice President Dina Boluarte was appointed the president of Peru. She is the country’s first female president.

Fresh Fruit Portal reported Dec. 19 that Peru’s agricultural producers are urging Baluarte’s administration to take immediate action to ensure safe passage for the industry’s activities as roadblocks were undeterred late in the week of Dec. 12.

The News in Charts is a collection of stories from the industry complemented by charts from Agronometrics to help better tell their story.

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