In MY2018/19, Chile is expected to register a fall of 4.5% in table grape production, to 870,000 tons. This decline is partly due to a drop in yields due to an unusually hot summer and a decrease in planted area, especially in the Copiapó valley in the north. Chile’s table grape planted area in MY2018/19 totalled 47,800 ha – a shrinkage of 8% from the previous campaign, in the face of increasing competition from Peru in the US market. The majority of Chile’s 16,300 table grape vineyards are small or medium-sized. In fact, 85% are smaller than five hectares and together they cover an area of 35,200 hectares.
The vast majority of Chile’s table grape production is destined for foreign markets (80%). These markets tend to demand high quality and modern grape varieties. Producers that have not renewed their vines have trouble exporting. Exports are forecast to be down 5.5% in 2018/19, with volumes expected to total 690,000 tons. Chile’s table grape exports to the US (its main market) fell by 29.5%, to 328,000 tons, while exports to China increased by 24.1% (according to USDA data up to February 2019). Chilean table grape exports to China are expected continue to rise in parallel with the increased promotional work conducted by Chilean suppliers in the country.