Chile is anticipated to produce 69,000 tonnes of raisins in 2008, up from 67,350 tonnes last year, according to a recent USDA report.
In spite of smaller table grape crop, this year’s raisin output has benefited from plentiful sunshine during spring, summer and autumn and a larger availability of grapes following a fall in demand from the wine industry.
The USDA estimates that over 90 per cent of Chile’s raisin production is exported, with Latin America accounting for half of shipments.
On the back of the production growth, exports in 2008 are pegged at 65,700 tonnes, compared with 64,420 in 2007.
Destination markets include Latin America, comprising Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and Brazil, as well as the US, the UK, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Poland and Russia.
Raisin production in Chile is based on lower quality table grapes and those rejected from the table grape export process, the report said. The wine and concentrated juice industries are the main competitors for table grape leftovers.