The Mexican state of Sonora is on course to beat its pre-season table grape production estimate of 14.171m cartons. John Pandol of Pandol Brothers said the revised crop estimate is likely to be in the 16m to 18m-carton range.
Pandol, who also chairs the grape division of the Nogales-based Fresh Produce Association of the Americas (FPAA), said daily crossings at Nogales, Arizona are still robust at over 300,000 cartons a day and are set to continue for another two or three weeks.
“Larger berry size, young vineyards producing more than normal, and diversion of volume from Mexico to the US are the likely explanations of the variance,” he stated.
Despite the extra 15- 20 per cent volume, distributors report an orderly market. Like the 2015 season, over 50 per cent of the volume is harvested in a three-week period, and supermarket promotions were in place at the proper times, FPAA noted.
“Nothing frightens a seller more than talk of a short crop,” Pandol noted. “The distributors want to set up adverts and programmes; growers resist because they feel adverts are unnecessary at the lower volume. It seems that this year we created the necessary demand at key times.”
Pandol said he anticipates a smooth transition to the Central Californian grape season.