The Peruvian grape season begins with prospects for growth in exports of premium varieties

Published on Nov 30th, 2020
The Peruvian grape season begins with prospects for growth in exports of premium varieties
Press release & photo: San Miguel

By the end of 2020, San Miguel begins its Peruvian grape season. From the North of the country, the company ships this fruit mainly to the United States and China. As a result of a number of measures taken to improve fruit quality, export volume grows, mainly Sweet Globe®, the most exported seedless variety in the world. 

Argentina, November 26, 2020.- San Miguel starts the 2020/2021 Peruvian grape season with great expectations and projections to increase production by almost one thousand tons. Almost 7,700 tons of this export fruit, mostly of the Sweet Globe® variety, will be sent from the South American country primarily to the United States and China.

In addition to the challenges that the company had to face to continue operating during the Covid-19 pandemic, this year temperatures were lower than the historical average in Peru.  Fortunately, the Peruvian grape season began without problems in November. “We have implemented a number of corrective measures that have allowed us to reach the harvest season having mitigated risks,” said Pablo Zócalo, Operations Manager at San Miguel in Peru. 

“The fruit looks very well, with well-formed and homogeneous clusters. We have been working hard to improve quality. We have put nets to prevent birds from reaching the trees in 70% of our fields and we have finished consolidating the packing operation into a single facility within the farm with the support of a strategic partner. This allows us to accelerate transfer times, minimizing dehydration losses and maximizing the use of this crop,” continued Pablo.

Peruvian grapes are exported mainly to the United States, followed by China and some European countries. This year we expect the Peruvian grape volume to grow 15% from the previous season, specially the premium varieties, which are mainly sent to this North American country. 

San Miguel has been growing its presence in the United States, consolidating in the 2019/20 season as the second Peruvian exporter of green seedless grapes to this country. The Sweet Globe® variety enters during a strategic window, in the California grape transition and prior to the entry of Chilean grapes. To complement the supply of green grapes, San Miguel also offers the Sugar Crisp® variety within this window. “At this destination our top focus is to develop greater depth in our programs with the main supermarkets. We have been working with these retailers for several years now” highlights Anya Jaworski, Avocado and Grape Manager at San Miguel 

On the other hand, China, the world's largest grape producer, has been increasing its green seedless grape production. “The presence of local green seedless grapes helps a lot to drive demand in the counter-season because Chinese consumers start to incorporate them in their consumption habits and expect to find them in the shelves all year round. We enter in an early window, just before the Chinese New Year, with a premium quality grape. That is why we expect a good demand for the transition between their own fruit and counter-season fruit,” explains Anya Jaworski, Product Manager for Avocado and Grapes at San Miguel. 

All varieties commercialized by San Miguel from Peru are premium, seedless and have good flavor. Green grapes account for 74% of production, mostly Sweet Globe®, the most demanded variety and known as “the queen of green grapes” for its sweet flavor, great size and crunchy texture. On the other hand, 24% are Sugar Crisp® grapes, which are harvested and sent just when the shipments of the former are finishing (near New Year), complementing supply. As regards red grapes, the company commercializes Jack’s Salute®, the most demanded variety of this segment. 

In addition to usual sales, this year 2020 San Miguel has piloted the fall harvest of Sugar Crisp®, and this is the first time that double harvest for export is explored with this variety in Peru. Eighteen hectares were harvested and 12 containers were exported. Thanks to the success of this first experience, the company plans to conduct double harvest in 100% of Sugar Crisp fields (80 hectares) in 2021. 

San Miguel in Peru: The advantages of multi-origin production

In Peru, the Argentine company has more than 1,200 hectares where mandarins, avocado and grapes are produced. The major destinations for Peruvian fresh fruit are the United States, followed by Asia and Europe. The Argentine Company settled in Peru in 2017, when it purchased Agrícola Hoja Redonda S.A., adding a strategic point of origin due its exit to the Pacific Ocean.

San Miguel has operations in 4 of the major citrus producing and exporting countries in the Southern Hemisphere: Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and South Africa. Production in multiple points of origin enhances the company's stability and sustainability, since it allows it to improve access to markets while contributing to mitigate the main risks associated to the activity, related to weather, phytosanitary and macroeconomic factors. This strong situation allows it to have an outlook into the future that takes into account the wellbeing of the nearby communities.

About San Miguel
San Miguel is the leading company in the Southern Hemisphere in the production and distribution of fresh citrus and natural citrus ingredients from different points of origin (Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa and Peru) to supply customers in more than 80 countries.
The company is constantly enlarging its product portfolio, developing new products and adding value at each stage of the production process, with Sustainability as a priority throughout its operation.
More information: www.sanmiguelglobal.com

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