Chinese, Turkish grape production to fall by 10% in 2018-19, USDA forecasts

The USDA has forecast a 10% drop the Chinese table grape production to 945,000 metric tons (MT) during 2018-19 due to spring frost damage.

The two most heavily hit grape producing provinces were leading Hebei and Shaanxi, with production falling by 30-50%, according to local estimates.

Other major producing provinces like Xinjiang, Hebei, Shandong, Yunnan and Zhejiang were not heavily affected.

China’s table grape imports are expected to decline by 7% to 200,000 metric tons (MT), as the U.S. is being hit with heavy tariffs and doesn’t have significant competitors in the Northern Hemisphere in its shipping season, it said.

“While the Southern Hemisphere suppliers will likely increase their table grape exports to China, they will not be able to completely fill the gap, resulting in a net decrease of table grape imports,” said the report.

According to the report, the grape planted area continues to increase due to favorable market returns, now standing at 826,000 hectares. The harvest season runs from April to November.

Popular new varieties include Ruiducuixia, Jumbo Muscat, Flame Seedless, Gold Finger, Shine Muscat, and Crimson Seedless, it said.

Apple forecast 
The spring frosts are also expected to result in a drop in apple production of 25% to 31 million metric tons (MT).

The Shaanxi Province, the leading apple producing region, is expected to harvest 20-30 % fewer apples than last year, while the Shanxi and Gansu provinces are likely to see declines of 30-50%.

Apple imports are expected to increase by 10% to 75,000MT due to the reduced local supplies. Imports from the U.S. are likely to drop due to the higher tariffs, with the supply gap being picked up by France, Poland, New Zealand and Chile.

Turkey set for similar grape decline
Turkey is also expecting a 10% decrease in table grape production to 1.9 million MT due to heavy rains during August in some parts of Manisa in the Aegean Region, were seedless grapes are mainly grown.

In 2017-18, table grape production also decreased by around 10% compared to the previous year, reaching 2.120 million MT. The decrease was mostly due to unfavorable weather conditions in grape production areas.



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