Chilean farmers are facing prospects of lower production across a large number of crops due to the severe drought Chile has been experiencing this year. Earlier in the growing season, Antonio Walker, the Chilean Minister of Agriculture, described this year’s drought as the biggest drought in the history of Chile.
Chile is a major exporter of grapes and dried grapes, and the severe drought was expected to tighten the supply availability, potentially causing prices to rise in these two segments.
However, for the table grapes, despite the earlier expectations, the production is projected relatively unchanged compared to the last year, based on the data released by ODEPA (Office for Agricultural Studies and Policies). Exports of table grapes from Chile in 2019/20 have been recently estimated by PMA (Produce Marketing Association) at 644,000 tonnes, down only slightly compared to the last year, by 1.6%, taking into account the drought conditions and the damage caused by frosts in October in the central areas of Chile.
For the dried grapes, the official estimates are not yet available, but most market participants expect the raisin production to decline from last year’s 66,500 tonnes.