Chile’s raisin production is estimated to increase during the present Marketing Year due to a larger availability of grapes and a strong export demand.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
Required Report - public distribution
GAIN Report Number: CI1222
Grape and Raisins
Rachel Bickford, Agricultural Attaché
Luis Hennicke, Agricultural Specialist
Chile’s raisin production is estimated to increase during the present Marketing Year due to a larger
availability of grapes and a strong export demand.
For in 2011/12 (Jan-Dec 2012), raisin production is expected to be larger when compared to the previous year, as the
availability of discarded table grapes is larger this year and a strong export demand export as well.
Raisin production in 2010/11 (Jan-Dec 2011) was much larger than previously estimated. Higher prices for raisins in the
export market, an increased availability of grapes due to a deteriorating market for fresh grapes and excellent weather which
allowed drying and producing a good quality raisin, are the main reason for this significant expansion of raisin production.
Increasing labor costs coupled with a continued revaluation of the peso against the dollar is affecting revenues for table
grape producers and means a loss of competitiveness for table grapes, as other countries in the Southern Hemisphere (like
Peru) are increasing production and exports to the same markets and are the main reasons for a deterioration of the fresh
table grape export market for Chilean producers.
For 2011/12 (Jan-Dec 2012) another expansion in production and exports are expected as international prices for raisins are
firm and excellent drying weather for raisin production during last summer and fall will result in a larger and good quality
product. Additionally, higher than normal temperatures and excess heat during this summer affected table grape quality in
some areas which were then destined for raisins. In Chile there are no grapes planted only for raisin production. Raisins
come from discarded table grapes that do not make it for exports or domestic fresh consumption. In Chile raisins are
produced mainly from Thompson and Flame Seedless varieties. Other varieties that are becoming more popular are Autumn
Royal, Black seedless, Crimson seedless, Superior and Red Globe. Most of the drying process in Chile is carried out by
using the sun to dry grapes. Grapes are laid on plastic film in open fields, where they are sun-dried for a 15 to 20 day
period. There are also a large number of facilities that use drying tunnels. After the drying process is completed they are
washed and cleaned from stems, sized and packed either in bulk or smaller containers depending on the destination market.
For the coming year additional increases in production of raisins will depend on foreign demand and prices of raisins.
Industry sources have indicated that the estimated production will probably not exceed 90 thousand metric tons, as an
increasing area of table grape orchards mostly used and suitable for drying into raisins are being uprooted, as a result of the
falling economic returns for fresh table grapes. Additionally raisin producers compete with grape juice and wine producers
and the availability of grapes for drying will depend on the demand of grapes needed by these producers. Over 95 percent of
Chilean raisin production is destined for the export market.
Chile's best quality raisins are exported. As with most of Chile’s fruit production, the domestic market normally receives
raisins rejected for export. Because domestic raisin consumption is small it does not influence production or trade decisions.
The main end-users of raisins are the baking, pastry and ice cream industries. Raisins are primarily used in finished products
such as cakes, cookies, and ice cream. Non-industrial usage and snack consumption are limited.
Over 95 percent of Chilean raisin production is exported. The Latin American market accounts for half of Chile's raisin
exports and it is generally the destination for the lower quality raisins. For the upcoming year, exports are expected to
increase again due to the greater availability of raisins. Raisins are normally exported year round, but the months of heaviest
flow are June/July and November/December of each year.
Most raisin exporters have a policy of maintaining stock levels close to zero. Whenever possible, exporters prefer to sell or
export all of their production. Variations in the ending stock level from one marketing year to the next, generally only means
that raisins have not yet been shipped to their destination.
The government does not provide direct export subsidies or play any role in setting quality standards for this product.
Raisins currently are not a key consumer item in Chile. Consequently, neither the government nor the various exporter
associations maintain retail or wholesale prices. Export prices for CY2011 averaged US$2,391/MT, up from CY2010
average price of US$1,872/MT.
Production, Supply and Demand Data Statistics:
Raisins Chile 2010/2011 2011/2012 2012/2013
Market Year Begin: Jan 2011 Market Year Begin: Jan 2012 Market Year Begin: Jan 2013
USDA Official New Post USDA Official New Post USDA Official New Post
Area Planted 0 62,411 0 62,462 62,470
Area Harvested 0 53,085 0 53,118 53,125
Beginning Stocks 100 100 100 459 359
Production 67,000 72,500 70,000 79,000 80,000
Imports 500 423 300 400 400
Total Supply 67,600 73,023 70,400 79,859 80,759
Exports 65,000 70,164 68,000 77,000 78,000
Domestic Consumption 2,500 2,400 2,300 2,500 2,500
Ending Stocks 100 459 100 359 259
Total Distribution 67,600 73,023 70,400 79,859 80,759
Export Trade Matrix
Exports for: 2010 2011
Time Period Jan-Dec
Units: Volume Value Volume Value
U.S. 8,127 14,971 U.S. 8,998 19,185
Russia 6,601 17,048 México 7,743 16,265
U.K. 6,209 13,269 Peru 6,394 14,703
Peru 5,896 12,753 U.K. 5,774 13,619
Colombia 5,269 11,068 Colombia 5,348 11,308
México 4,845 8,828 Russia 3,955 10,641
Netherlands 3,679 9,282 Venezuela 3,867 11,672
Venezuela 3,548 10,664 Netherlands 3,208 8,473
Ecuador 2,043 4,083 Germany 2,425 5,695
Denmark 1,720 3,338 Ecuador 1,696 3,488
Poland 1,626 3,765 Taiwan 1,578 3,532
Total for Others 41,436 41,988
Others not Listed 13,982 19,179
Grand Total 63,545 118,943 70,164 167,789
Time Period Jan-May
Exports for: 2011 2012
U.S. 1,905 3,932 U.S. 3,898 8,459
Colombia 1,710 3,707 México 2,283 4,602
México 1,521 3,045 Colombia 2,216 4,638
U.K. 1,205 2,851 U.K. 1,607 3,792
Russia 1,166 2,824 Netherlands 1,453 3,682
Netherlands 1,037 2,664 Russia 1,371 3,324
Germany 1,015 2,436 Peru 1,203 2,689
Peru 878 1,925 Germany 1,199 2,877
Spain 550 1,296 Taiwan 738 1,637
Taiwan 543 1,209 France 715 2,337
Denmark 492 1,143 Spain 695 1,650
Total for Others 10,116 13,478
Others not Listed 4,171 3,325
Grand Total 16,192 37,926 20,701 47,846
Note: Volume in M.T. and Value in Thous.US$ F.O.B.