Mexican grape exports to the United States reached a new record last year totaling $601 million dollars, an increase of 43% year to year, as reported by Opportimes.
With this result, Mexico not only reached a new high but also positioned themselves in second place among the biggest grape suppliers to the U.S., right behind Chile with $748 million, as that nation encountered a decrease of 17% annually.
Other notable exporters were Peru with $42 million and Brazil with $23 million. In total, the U.S. imported $1.8 billion dollars’ worth of grapes in 2019.
Grapes are considered to be a temperate climate crop, but the plants can adapt to a wide variety of climates. Several test plots have been planted in Mexico to expand the supply and evaluate expanding the planted areas.
Mexico is attempting to develop new varieties that are more productive and resistant against diseases, as reported by the USDA, but access to genetics has been difficult to obtain while also being expensive.
Apart from this there have been labor shortages, but with improved technologies and professionalized operations, labor requirements have evolved, with more managers and specialized skills needed.
Labor needs in Sonora have increased from 3,000 to 5,000 workers and operations have found a shortage of workers who have a devotion to the agriculture industry. Safety, long working hours, and remote locations have contributed to these shortages.
The Mexican 2018/2019 season enjoyed ideal weather for grapes as production and yields were achieved, exceeding initial estimates as reported by the USDA. Mexico produce a variety of grapes such as the Perlette, Flame, Sugarone, and Red Globe.