EU table grape market under pressure in lead-up to Mediterranean supply
German fruit importer Kölla does not expect the table grape market to pick up for two to three weeks, while seedless variety volumes starting up in Southern Europe could be lower but with good quality.
In a report published this week, the importer said remaining Indian stocks and "stronger" exports from Egypt were depressing prices for both seedless and seeded table grapes in the European market.
The company said overall volume from Spain would likely be 10-15% lower, while the first Superior Seedless grapes had already been loaded, while red and black seedless varieties were due to start in weeks 28-29.
Kölla said the weather had been good overall for grape production in Italy, although there had been some disturbances from extreme weather conditions.
White Victoria and Black Magic grapes from Sicily have been produced since week 22, while the province's first seedless cultivars are due for harvest in week 27.
In the report, the company highlighted Sicily had come into its own as a "separate production" area in Europe, bolstered by modern plantations with automated ventilation in greenhouses with rainwater catchment systems.
In the Italian province Apulia, the company was expecting Sugraone volumes to be down 30-40% due to unfavorable weather during the flower period, and perhaps as a result of alternate bearing as well.
In Greece, grape harvests in Peloponnese are set to start between August 10-15, and at the end of August in Kavalla. Kölla added grapes from the island of Crete were usually neglected due to core quality, and overall the country's seeded table grapes were going more to Eastern Europe.
The company classified Turkish weather and fruit availability as "normal, with the first shipments set for August 10.
The importer is expecting the new white seedless variety Sultan 1 to be loaded for the first time in larger quantities. Grown in the Denizli/Honaz region, it's described as having a Brix of 18-22 and a much larger size than a regular Sultana grape.