The 2009 Mexican table grape season is looking normal to date, after “very good” weather conditions in the country’s main production zone of Sonora, according to leading industry sources.
“So far, the quality of berry clusters is looking good,” Juan Alberto Laborín of the Sonora Table Grape Producers’ Association (AALPUM) told Fruitnet.com. “All varieties seem to be developing normally, including Flame Seedless, Perlette, Sugraone and Red Globe, but who knows what Mother Nature may have in store.”
Export volumes are expected to be similar to last year at around 50m cartons, with shipments anticipated to be on the water one week earlier than in 2008 during the second week of May.
The crop will be distributed primarily in the US and Canada, AALPUM said, followed by the UK, continental Europe, Asia and Australasia.
“We’re seeing fairly good prices in North America at the moment and I’m surprised fruit stocks are moving well,” Mr Laborín explained. “Consumers seem to be spending a little more at the supermarket rather than going out to eat which will help us as will the quality of Mexico’s grape crop this year.”
AALPUM also revealed the industry is starting to develop its own varieties in Sonora in an effort to boost sizes and quality. Growers are also currently trialling new black seedless varieties such as Autumn Royal.