India's top grape producing region faces Covid-19 export challenges

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India's top grape producing region faces Covid-19 export challenges

Maharashtra, India's top table grape-producing region, reportedly has thousands of tons of grapes that it's unable to ship due to the Covid-19 outbreak, reports the Hindu Business Line.

As of Friday, 74,000MT of grapes from Maharashtra producers had been exported. This is down from last year at the same time when 89,000MT had already been shipped.

“Almost 30 percent of the grapes are still in the fields. This would amount to about 25,000-30,000 tonnes of export-quality grapes. We are closely watching developments and hope that the coronavirus spread will not affect grape exports,” Sahyadri Farms' managing director Vilas Sinde told the publication.

While it is still unsure what the overall impact of Covid-19 will have on Indian grape exports, the industry anticipates that it will have some effect.

One of the leading table grape exporters, Sahyadri said that demand in supermarkets in European countries like Germany and the U.K. are cause for concern among farmers.

Apart from challenges associated with demand and Covid-19, poor weather with heavy rain and hailstorms have disrupted various growing regions across Marathwada and Maharashtra.

Key markets for Indian table grape exporters include the Netherlands, the U.K, and Germany. Maharashtra accounts for more than 81% of total grape exports out of India.

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