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Mexican grape estimate shows sharp increase over 2018

Marco Antonio Molina Rodriguez, chairman of Grupo Molina, addresses the Table Grape Growers Association at the 2019 Spring Grape Summit in Tubac, AZ.

TUBAC, AZ —The estimate is in earlier than usual this year, but if it holds, Mexican grape growers will export about 34% more boxes than in the 2018 season.

The Table Grape Growers Association held its annual spring summit in Tubac, on March 21, about a month earlier than usual – and north of the border.

“This is the first time we decided to internationalize our summit,” said Marco Antonio Molina Rodriguez, chairman of the organization. “On this occasion we decided to go international, and we have seen the turnout is great, with a lot of attendance from the United States.

This year’s table grape estimate is +/- about 5%, depending on weather, said Juan Laborin, director of Mexico Table Grapes.

“We’re about six weeks away from the start of the harvest,” he said. “There may be weather events. We hope the sizes are within normal, so hopefully we will reach that volume.”

Laborin said he expects the crop to start having promotable volumes the week of May 20, with volume peaking around the first week of June.

“After Memorial Day, production goes up, but demand disappears because buyers have other competition,” he said. “It’s very important for us to promote in these weeks.”

Attendees at the Spring Grape Summit

Variety changes

There has been a shift over the past few years, with some varieties losing popularity.

Flame volume is expected to jump from 7.1 million boxes in 2018 to 10.6 million boxes this season, and other specialty varieties are expected to jump from 930,000 boxes to 1.5 million boxes.

Red globe grapes are expected to be down about 18,000 boxes to 600,000 boxes, and black varieties are expected to drop from 1.2 million to 1 million boxes.

Pamela Riemenschneider is Retail Editor for Blue Book Services