Weekly Product Updates

W49 Grape Update: El Niño Impact in the US, Crisis in Global Grape Production and South Korea's Thriving Exports in 2023

Fresh Grape
Published Dec 15, 2023

Namibian Grape Growers Navigate Export Challenges Through a New Route Vvia Walvis Bay Port

Namibian grape growers find a new export route via the port of Walvis Bay, overcoming challenges faced at the port of Cape Town. The first large-scale export via the new container terminal involved Namibia Grape Company (NGC) and Capespan, with over 275 containers exported. Capespan's commercial director highlighted the port of Cape Town's challenges at the International table grape symposium. The alternative route through Walvis Bay offers improved logistics for Namibian grape exports, providing a viable option for growers facing shipping constraints at the traditional port in Cape Town.

Australian Table Grape Industry Poised for Record-Breaking Season with Optimal Weather Conditions and Increased Exports

Optimal weather conditions propel Australian table grape production to a forecasted record of 220 thousand metric tons (mt) for the 2023/24 season, highlighting increased supply and quality. A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report anticipates the season's production to mark the third-highest export result historically at 140 thousand mt, stimulating a 5% year-over-year (YoY) rise in consumption. Australian growers remain in the top-tree suppliers for the Asian market, as they focus on supplying grape varieties demanded by the Asian market.

El Niño Impact on the US Grape Supply

The United States (US) is experiencing a surplus of grapes, mainly green grapes, as cold storage inventory rises on the East Coast as importers anticipate a decrease in arrivals. California's green grape harvest has resulted in a market ratio of 3:1 in favor of green grapes, with three million cartons compared to six million in 2022. The increase is due to factors such as Hurricane Hilary and rains, which have affected red grapes more severely. Pricing is a significant factor in sales, influenced by market dynamics shaped by El Niño.

South Korean Grape Exports Thrive in East Asia and Expand to Canada

South Korean grape exports showcase a dynamic market. Seosan City exported an additional 3.5 mt of locally grown Shine Muscat grapes to Taiwan, following previous shipments to Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong in 2023. The total East Asian export volume reached 6.5 mt, equivalent to approximately USD 60.6 thousand (KRW 80 million). Seosan plans to focus on quality management and market development to navigate domestic oversupply challenges. Meanwhile, Namwon City successfully entered the Canadian market with 360 boxes of Shine Muscat grapes, valued at USD 15.9 thousand (KRW 21 million). This export diversification aligns with Namwon's history of international success, including ventures into New Zealand, the US, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.

Indian Grape Industry Faces Devastation Due to Heavy Rains

Unprecedented heavy rains have caused extensive damage to grape orchards, devastating more than 20 thousand hectares (ha) in the Sangli district of India. Orchards in various growth stages, from flowering to near harvest, incurred extensive damage. With a total grape cultivation area of 32.3 thousand ha, growers anticipate losses exceeding USD 119.85 million (EUR 111.2 million). This unfortunate event marks the third consecutive year of complete grape crop destruction in the district. Facing substantial losses, growers are urging compensation and contemplating protests if immediate assistance is not provided to address the critical situation.

Southern Italy Faces Grape Harvest Drop, Prices Surged by 40% in 2023

Adverse climatic conditions in Central and Southern Italy, have led to a significant drop in grape production. The prices have surged by 40% for Montepulciano d'Abruzzo DOC. The decline in grape quantity is attributed to unfavorable weather patterns, including substantial rainfall and temperature variations. Conversely, northern Italy's grape production has remained stable at 2022 levels, with prices reflecting this steadiness. Notably, Tuscan reds like Brunello di Montalcino DOCG have seen a notable increase of nearly 15% YoY in grape prices, as reported in the analysis by BMTI.

Turkey's Fruit Industry Faces Challenges as Late Spring Impacts Harvests and Export Markets in 2023/24

The delayed spring onset in Turkey for 2023/24 resulted in decreased harvests and exports of apples, pears, and grapes. Grape growers face challenges combating mildew due to increased rainfall. Despite obstacles, commercial growers are investing to capitalize on growth opportunities in domestic and export markets. Notably, India remained the top destination for Turkish apples in 2022, while Russia maintained its position as the primary market for Turkish pears and grapes. The report underscores the impact of weather on Turkey's fruit industry and ongoing efforts to navigate challenges for sustained growth.

China's Grape and Apple Imports to Decline in 2023/24 Amidst Strong Domestic Competition

The USDA forecasts a decline in China's grape and apple imports for the 2023/24 season, citing domestic competition and supply shortages. Specifically, table grape imports are expected to drop by over 30% YoY, influenced by improved domestic quality and an extended supply season. Despite Chinese consumers still showing strong demand for Southern Hemisphere grape varieties, there is a shift towards domestic purchases. Meanwhile, China's table grape production is projected to grow by 6% YoY to 13.5 million mt, driven by enhanced quality and extended production. Overall, the report anticipates a steady rise in China's table grape production in the coming season.

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