Northern Hemisphere Table Grape Situation and Outlook
|Overall, production and exports are forecast to decline slightly this year for most of the selected Northern Hemisphere countries. However, U.S. table grape production is forecast to increase 16 percent to 680,389 metric tons and exports are projected to increase by 12 percent to 231,684.|
Californias table grape production in 1999 is forecast at 680,389 metric tons (MT), 16 percent above 1998 levels. California accounts for 90 percent of the U.S. table grape production.
U.S. table grape exports in 1999 are expected to increase 12 percent to 231,684 MT. Canada and Hong Kong are the top export markets. The United States is a net table grape importer. Imports for 1999 are forecast at 409,879 MT, a 1-percent increase. Chile and Mexico are the main suppliers.
French table grape production for 1999 is forecast to drop 9 percent to 107,000 MT. The area planted to table grapes has decreased by 60 percent since the end of the 1970's, and is now estimated at 13,600 hectares (ha) in 1999.
Exports are forecast to drop by more than a third to 13,000 MT, while imports are forecast to increase 2 percent to 120,000 MT. France is a net importer, and Italy is its main supplier.
Although the weather was favorable in 1999, table grape production is estimated at 300,000 MT, a 3-percent decrease from 1998. The area planted is down an estimated 3 percent, as well, to 18,500 ha. However, imports are forecast to increase 42 percent to 1,000 MT. Exports in 1999 are projected to remain relatively stable at 115,000 MT. Greece is a net exporter of table grapes, with most of the crop going to the European Union (EU) and Poland. Germany and the United Kingdom are the largest EU markets.
Italian production for 1999 is expected to fall to 1.4 million MT, below 1998 levels but comparable to 1997 levels. About 70 percent of production is made up of Italian and Regina varieties, but the area planted to seedless varieties imported from the United States has increased quickly.
Italian exports for 1999 are forecast at 555,000 MT, down 1 percent from 1998, but close to 1997 levels. Germany and France are the largest export markets. Imports for 1999 are expected to remain at 1998 levels.
Japans table grape growing areas experienced good weather in 1999, and grape production is expected to rise to 242,600 MT, a 4-percent increase over 1998 levels. The area planted to grapes is expected to decrease slightly in 1999 from the previous year, due to retiring orchards and replanting to other fruits.
Japanese imports are forecast to reach 9,000 MT, up 18 percent from 1998 levels. The United States was the largest supplier in 1998 (3,833), followed closely by Chile (3,764 MT). The peak U.S. shipping months are October and November.
Weather conditions were good and yields were close to 1998 levels. Grape production for 1999 is expected to reach 144,000 MT, very similar to 1998 levels. New area planted is offset by old areas that have been abandoned.
Due to strong demand, Mexican imports for 1999 are forecast at 45,000 MT, an increase of 9 percent over 1998 levels. Mexican exports for 1999 are forecast at 90,000 MT, a decrease of 14 percent from the previous year, due to low prices in the international market.
Despite dry weather in the grape production areas in 1999, production is forecast to reach 375,000 MT, about 7 percent above 1998 levels. Due to higher production, imports are expected to decline in 1999. Imports in 1998 were 19,920 MT, slightly higher than the previous year. Italy and Chile were the largest suppliers.
Since the U.S. grape harvest coincides with Spains and Spain is a major grape exporter, the Spanish market provides little opportunity for U.S. grapes. Portugal is its largest export market.
(The FAS Attache Report search engine contains reports on the deciduous fruit industries for more than 20 countries, including Chile, Mexico, and Japan. For information on production and trade, contact Shari Kosco at 202-720-9792. For information on marketing contact Sonia Jimenez at 202-720-0898.)