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Chilean table grape production falls along with exports

Chilean table grape production falls along with exports

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.

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India’s Mahindra buys into Dutch fruit supplier OFD Holding

India’s Mahindra says it is closer to becoming a major world player in grapes on agreeing to buy a 60% stake in Dutch global fruit distributor OFD Holding.

India’s Mahindra says it is closer to becoming a major world player in grapes on agreeing to buy a 60% stake in Dutch global fruit distributor OFD Holding.

The move will expand its sourcing base to South American countries and South Africa and its distribution to Europe, which it said is the biggest importer, accounting for 24% of global grape imports, and China, the fastest growing importer, with 31% CAGR.

OFD Holding BV owns Origin Fruit Direct, Origin Direct Asia and Origin Fruit Services South America which are based out of Netherlands, China and Chile respectively.

In a press release, Mahindra Agri Solutions Ltd. (MASL) said the deal will benefit both companies – Origin Fruits’ strong distribution channel will open up global markets for Indian farmers while Mahindra will contribute its strong connection with farmer and expertise in agronomy.

MASL CEO Ashok Sharma said it will “bring in a lot of synergy by giving access to new markets to our farmers.”

OFD Holding BV & Origin Fruit Direct BV managing director Corné van de Klundert said it will also strengthen OFD’s position as an integrated supply chain company.

“OFD was founded in 2006 as the sales operation of a South African producer, and has since developed a network of key retail customers in Europe as well as Asia. India is an increasingly important supplier of grapes to our markets and Mahindra is one of the largest exporters, which is giving us access to a growing volume of excellent quality grapes. We are looking forward to intensifying our cooperation with the Mahindra team and the growers, to jointly develop innovations, new markets and customers,” van de Klundert said.

MASL is part of the US $17.8 billion Mumbai-based Mahindra group. The group’s Mahindra Agribusiness has become one of India’s largest grape exporters, launched the premium fresh fruit and dairy brand Saboro, and established ‘Farm to Fork’ presence across the Agri value chain.

OFD Holding BV had revenue of about €71 million in the year ended October 2016. Origin Fruit Direct is active year-round presence in grape and citrus markets.

 

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Chand Fruit: the ‘Golden’ exporter

With 700 containers of table grapes exported and 600 units of other varieties, Chand Fruit is the largest fruit and vegetable exporter in India. Its products are also well-known under the ‘Golden’ brand.

With 700 containers of table grapes exported and 600 units of other varieties, Chand Fruit is the largest fruit and vegetable exporter in India. Its products are also well-known under the ‘Golden’ brand.

Mangos, pomegranates, vegetables and onions are the other major types of Indian produce supplied worldwide.

The Middle East is the main destination with 70% of the volume, followed by the Far East with 15%, Russia 10% and Europe just 5%.

“We run our own sales operations in Dubai as the majority of our sales go to the Gulf,” said Chand Fruit Company CEO Mr Nawaz.

Europe is the smallest but fastest growing market for the ‘Golden’ brand.

This family company meets the major requirements of UK suppliers with the GlobalGAP, ISO and BRC certifications. It operates 4 major packhouses in Mumbai, Sangli, Vita and Nashik.

By 2017 it will be building 3 new major packhouses in Baramati, Narayangaon and Nashik for table grapes, as well.

 

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Argentina’s apple, pear, grape exports below historical levels

Screenshot 2016-06-05 at 8

Hail storms, blooming difficulties and an ongoing decline in planted area have seen USDA forecasts for Argentina’s production of apples this year revised down to 640,000 tons and that for fresh pears to 580,000 tons.

Exports are revised down to 105,000 tons for apples and revised up to 330,000 tons for pears.

“The severe economic and financial crisis which has been affecting the local fruit sector during the past few years has contributed to decreased planted area for both fruits,” says the USDA GAIN report Argentina: Fresh Deciduous Fruit Semi-annual.

It also says Argentina’s table grape production for the 2016 calendar year is projected to decrease drastically to 60,000 tons – a 40% decrease from official estimates – due to less competitiveness of local companies in export markets, and the conversion of table grape areas to raisin production.

The country’s table grape export forecast has been revised down to 11,000 tons.

“Exports of all three types of deciduous fruit are estimated to remain lower than historical levels as a result of lost competitiveness and stressed demand due to economic problems in major export markets, such as devaluation in Russia and Brazil.”

However, amid volatile export markets, the US remains a reliable market for Argentine apples and pears, the report says.

Souce: USDA GAIN report Argentina: Fresh Deciduous Fruit Semi-annual: Apples, Pears, and Table Grapes (5/31/2016)

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Lower fruit production in Chile

In 2015/16, the following weather conditions combined to reduce yields of cherries, table grapes and apples in Chile: 1) higher than ideal temperatures reduced the number of chill hours during the winter; 2) rainfall during the spring and harvest season; and, 3) high relative humidity during the summer.

Climatic conditions combined to prune yields of cherries, table grapes, apples, walnuts, and wine grapes in Chile during the 2015/16 marketing year, reports the USDA Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN).

Higher than ideal temperatures reduced the number of chill hours during the 2015/16 winter. This meant blooming was delayed, uneven, and lasted longer, and the fruit set reduced for all fruits in Chile.

Another adverse factor was the rainfall during spring and the harvest season. The rain in October and November decreased cherry production and that in mid-April  – during the harvest of apples, table grapes, walnuts and wine grapes – decreased the quality and volume of exportable fruit, GAIN said.

Thirdly, high relative humidity during summer caused fungus diseases like Botrytis on table and wine grapes.

Cherries

The less than ideal number of chill hours in winter and spring delayed the cherry harvest about 10 days. A 27.7% drop in exports was initially expected but exports recovered temporarily in January. Overall, however, the MY2015/16 export volume of 83,729 tons was down 19% on MY 2014/15.

China/Hong Kong was the destination for 84% of Chile’s cherry exports and, because of the reduced volumes, prices were 15% higher.

Apples

The climatic conditions in spring caused uneven bloom, delaying the Royal Gala harvest 1-2 weeks. The harvest window was shorter and the last fruit left did not achieve the colour requirements and was too mature to harvest – factors preventing export.

Fruit volume destined for the processing industry (juice) was high and the prices dropped but reception of Chilean Royal Gala apples was good in the US market.

The Fuji variety was damaged the most by the mid-April rains, since it was in the middle of the harvest and there was some fruit cracking.

The volume of apples exported by Chile from week 1 to week 20 (May 22) was 351,152 tons, which was up 16% on the same period in 2014/15. Overall, it is forecast to export a total of about 660,000 tons of apples in 2015/16.

Table grapes

Chile’s table grape harvest was also delayed, which decreased exported volumes, though a recovery in exported volumes took place in April.

Overall, 2015/16 exports are expected to drop to 660,000 tons, down 12.5%.


 

source: “Climatic Conditions Lower Chilean Fruit Production Volumes”, USDA GAIN report CI1612, date 5/27/2016

 

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Grape polyphenols help offset harm of high fat diet

“The results showed that the high-fat diet combined with grape polyphenols reduced the percentage of body fat, subcutaneous and visceral fat depots, markers of inflammation in the liver and fat depots, and improved glucose tolerance and intestinal barrier function."

Grape polyphenols helped offset some of the adverse health consequences of consuming a high fat diet rich in saturated fat, according to two laboratory studies1,2 conducted at the University of North Carolina Greensboro, and published recently in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

According to a press release by the California Table Grape Commission, in the first study, the researchers found that consuming a high butter-fat diet (33% of energy from fat) enriched with 3% grapes for 11 weeks was associated with a lower percentage of overall body fat and reduced subcutaneous fat deposits. These reductions in body fat were positively associated with changes in intestinal microbes and health; e.g., increases in some beneficial bacteria, decreases in some less desirable bacterial strains, increases in microbial diversity, and improved gut barrier function.

In the second study, which ran for 16 weeks, the researchers used an even higher fat diet (44% of energy from fat ) with multiple types of saturated fat, including lard, beef tallow, shortening, and butter similar to some Western-type diets. They investigated the impact of the high fat diet enriched with extracts of either the polyphenol fraction of grapes or the non-polyphenol portion of grapes, as well as the high fat diet plus 5% whole grapes. All the high fat experimental diets were matched for sugar type and amount.

“The results showed that the high-fat diet combined with grape polyphenols reduced the percentage of body fat, subcutaneous and visceral fat depots, markers of inflammation in the liver and fat depots, and improved glucose tolerance and intestinal barrier function. While the 5% whole grape diet did not improve the metabolic profile in this second study, it did improve markers of intestinal health; e.g., increased microbial diversity and decreased abundance of several deleterious bacteria in the intestinal tract,” the commission said.

Obesity affects approximately one-third of the adult population in the U.S. and is associated with inflammatory conditions that disrupt the metabolic process and can lead to metabolic syndrome. Gut microbes are thought to play a role in the development of metabolic syndrome; e.g., obesity is associated with a decrease in microbial diversity and impaired barrier function in the intestinal tract.

“These two studies suggest that grapes and grape polyphenols may help offset a number of the adverse effects of consuming a high fat diet and trigger improvements in intestinal or systemic health,” said Michael McIntosh PhD, lead investigator of the study. “This is an exciting area of health that merits further study.”

1 Baldwin J et al. Table grape consumption reduces adiposity and markers of hepatic lipogenesis and alters gut microbiota in butter fat-fed mice. J Nutr Biochem 27 (2016) 123 – 135.

2 Collins B et al. A polyphenol-rich fraction obtained from table grapes decreases adiposity, insulin resistance and markers of inflammation and impacts gut microbiota in high-fat fed mice. J Nutr Biochem 31 (2016) 150-165.

Source of images: Grapes from California

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More loose grapes allowed under mooted marketing standard change

Up to 12% of fresh tables grape in class I and class II sales packages could be loose under changes being considered to the relevant international quality standard.

Up to 12% of fresh tables grape in class I and class II sales packages could be loose under changes being considered to the relevant international quality standard.

Consultation is now open on the proposed changes until June 30, according to a document published in the wake of last week’s meeting of the Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards Specialized Section on Standardization of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables, part of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

A separate proposal document published before the meeting said loose grape berries occur “due to a treatment with growth regulators or due to over ripeness.”

“A few loose berries, i.e. berries detached from the bunch/cluster may be allowed (on marketing stages following dispatch), provided the loose berries are sound and intact. In order to define the tolerances for loose berries, the following paragraphs are proposed to be added to the tolerances of classes I and II…,” it said.

The proposal for class I was a maximum of 5%, by number or weight, of loose berries, and 10% for class II. But in the document published after the meeting, a maximum of 12% for both classes is proposed.

The changes would be made to the UNECE Standard for Table grapes – FFV-19 (2010). UNECE says such standards facilitate trade, providing traders and inspectors with a reliable reference standard. By referencing the UNECE standard in contracts, traders can be assured the products they order live up to the specified quality and sizing criteria in the standards, it says.

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Marco and Moyca announce further expansion

Packhouse productivity expert Marco has won a contract to supply its equipment to a brand new facility at Moyca’s headquarters in Totana, Spain.

Packhouse productivity expert Marco has won a contract to supply its equipment to a brand new facility at Moyca’s headquarters in Totana, Spain.

Moyca, Spain’s leading supplier of table grapes, is building a new state-of-the-art packing house to serve its growing customer base. The new Marco Yield Control System will enable Moyca to efficiently produce consistently packed punnets and boxes of table grapes.

This solution will also see the implementation of 19 high definition LED 65” efficiency screens around the packhouse, displaying live production data as well as technical and quality control videos.

Marco director Murray Hilborne said Marco is excited to be “strengthening its working relationship with such an innovative and cutting-edge company. The new packhouse is a testament to both Marco and Moyca’s hard work and we cannot wait to see the finished product,” he said.

Moyca CEO Enrique Moya Salas is equally pleased with the new contract. “Our previous Marco packhouse installation was a huge success, massively increasing our productivity whilst giving us control over the packing process. Signing with Marco for our new facility was an easy choice to make,” he said.

Marco provides innovative productivity systems designed for the fresh produce and food manufacturing sectors. Marco designs, manufactures and installs low risk, rapid ROI modular control solutions that improve packhouse productivity by 30%.

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Record crop value for California table grapes

2015 Record Crop Value for California Table Grapes Three Seasons in a Row Over 110 Million Boxes

A total of 110.5 million boxes (109.3 million 19-pound box equivalents) of California table grapes were shipped during the 2015 season, setting a new record crop value at $1.83 billion, surpassing the previous record set in 2014 of $1.76 billion.

In a press release, the California Table Grape Commission said the majority of the crop is consumed in the U.S. In 2015, 34.7% of the total volume was exported to over 50 countries around the world, with a total export volume of 37.9 million 19-pound boxes valued at $737.8 million.

The top five volume export markets were Canada at 11.3 million 19-pound boxes, followed by Mexico at 5.7 million, China/Hong Kong at 3.5 million, the Philippines at 1.9 million and Taiwan at 1.8 million.

“Since the industry surpassed the 100 million box mark for the first time in its history in 2012, the total crop volume has seen three consecutive years over 110 million boxes,” said Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission. The 2015 season total of 110.5 million boxes was the third largest crop volume in the industry’s history, just below the 2014 total of 110.9 million. The largest crop was in 2013 at 117.4 million boxes.

Grapes from California are available from May through January. With the 2016 season only about six weeks away, the commission is gearing up its global campaign for California grapes.

“The commission campaign focuses on motivating the trade to promote, and consumers to buy, more grapes from California more often,” Nave said.

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South Africa’s deciduous fruit supply

South Africa is the Southern Hemisphere’s fourth biggest apple producer and ranks second for pears.

With about 79,803 ha last year, deciduous fruit is the largest sub-sector for all land dedicated to fruit plantations in South Africa.

And of the country’s total area planted with deciduous fruit, grapes (fresh and dried), apples and pears together accounted for about 78%, reports the USDA’s Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN).

In an update on South African deciduous fruit supply and demand, it says South Africa is the Southern Hemisphere’s fourth biggest apple producer and ranks second for pears.

The Western Cape is the country’s largest and traditional producer of deciduous fruits, but in the past two decades the Northern and Eastern Cape, and Limpopo provinces have become increasingly large producers of deciduous fruit, GAIN says.

Forecasts from the South African post in the report include:

Apples
South African apple production is expected to increase by 2% to 865,000 tons in the 2016 marketing year (January to December), and exports to inch up 1% to 455,000 tons, based on the available production and the weak rand exchange rate.
Africa is now the leading export market for South Africa apples, taking nearly half of total exports, followed by the EU (26%), Asia (20%) and the Middle East (7%).
The top 5 export countries in 2014 were the UK (17%), Malaysia (11%), Nigeria (11%), Angola (4%) and the UAE (4%).

Pears
South African pear production is forecast to rise 3% to 410,000 tons in 2016 based on normal growing conditions and the minimal impact of the dry weather conditions on irrigation water availability.
Exports are set to fall 7% to 190,000 tons based on the difficult global pear market, and growth in the local processing market demand and prices.
The EU takes about 57% of the total exports followed by Asia (22%), the Middle East (14%), and Africa (7%).
The Netherlands is the biggest individual market, accounting for 27% of the export market followed by the UAE at 10%.

Table grapes
Another exceptional season is expected for table grape production, with a marginal rise on last season to 294,000 tons.
Exports are also expected to rise marginally, by 1% to 266,000 tons, based on the available production and continued strong demand due to the weak exchange rate.
The EU takes at least 75% of the table grapes exports.
“South Africa benefits from a shorter shipping distance than other Southern Hemisphere competitors, strong demand for seedless varieties, and a free trade agreement with the EU,” the report says, also noting that “exports to Asia (14%), the Middle East (6%) and Africa (4%) have strong growth potential.”

Domestic consumption
Domestic consumption of apples, pears and table grapes is forecast to remain flat in 2016 based on the available production and South Africa’s slow economic growth prospects.
South Africa is a net exporter of deciduous fruits, and only imports small quantities of apples, pears and grapes to fulfill a niche market or to satisfy domestic demand when supply is limited

Source: http://www.fas.usda.gov/data/south-africa-fresh-deciduous-fruit-annual-0
South Africa flag image: Flag design by Frederick Brownell, image by Wikimedia Commons users [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons