After the cold start to the season, Chacon said, Mother Nature has been more cooperative.
“After spring freezes in north areas, the weather has been gentle,” he said.
The first vessel of the season carried flames, sugraones and perlettes, Chacon said.
Thompson volumes started ramping up in subsequent shipments, he said.
Chacon reported normal quality on early-season fruit, and he expected similar volumes as last season.
Dole Chile expects to pack more U.S.-bound grapes in 1-, 2- and 4-pound clamshells this season, Chacon said.
Volumes should rise as much as 20% this season for the Vancouver, British Columbia-based Oppenheimer Group, said Josh Leichter, the company’s East Coast vice president and grape category director.
Industrywide, Chilean shippers expect a full crop, with volumes similar to last season, Leichter said.
“We’ve seen good quality out of Chile so far, and are looking forward to a good year,” he said.