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Mexican grape volume to hit 19.4 million cases in 2017

HERMOSILLO, SONORA — Sonora’s grape exports will almost reach 20 million cases this year, exceeding 2016 volume by 3.3 million cases.

To conclude the Sonoran Spring Grape Association meeting in Hermosillo, the group’s chairman, Marco Molina, unveiled the estimates for 2017. Virtually all of Mexico’s table grapes are grown in Sonora.

The export volume this year is estimated to be 19.4 million cartons. Last year’s total exports were 16.1 million. Spring cold temperatures lowered some sectors of 2016 production.Marco-JuanMarco Molina, chairman of the Sonoran Spring Grape Association, and Juan Laborin, the group’s director general.

In terms of sheer numbers, 2017’s biggest increase will come from the Flame variety, which is up 1.3 million cases over a year ago. Flames this year will account for a total of 10.5 million cases from Sonora. A year ago, that production was 9.2 million. This is an increase of 12.5 percent.

With 3.9 million cases, Sugraone again exceeds the green grape category in total Sonoran production.

Sugraone volume is up by 22.9 percent this year. This is 892,000 cases above 2016 production totaling 3 million cases.

The third-largest Sonoran grape category this year is green, which includes Perlettes, Primes and early green varieties. That total volume is expected to be up 17.2 percent this year to 3 million cases, up 515,000 from last year.

In 2017, Sonora’s black grape volume shows the biggest increase — 35.3 percent. Black grapes this year are expected to reach 900,000 cartons compared to 582,000 in 2016.

Red Globe production in 2017 is up 26.1 percent to 700,000 and other varieties are up 25.6 percent to 400,000 this season.

At the end of Molina’s presentation, Sonoran Grape Association Chairman Juan Laborin said these numbers do not include 3 million boxes of grapes that are expected to be sold on the Mexican domestic market this spring. About half of that domestic volume will come from the Hermosillo district and half from Caborca, to the north. The third major Sonoran grape shipping area is to the south, and, naturally, ships the earliest volume.

Sonoran volume is building in early May, with a peak plateau to be attained by mid-May. Growers indicate that there will be abundant levels of promotable volume for Memorial Day and well into June. Mexican grape volume will run until late June.

The Produce News recently caught up with Carolos Bon of Divine Flavor. Check out what he had to say about this season's Mexican grape deal.