Indian grape exports to Europe down by 18%, but still expected to exceed previous season
Indian table grape exports to Europe have fallen by 18 percent to 74,944 metric tons (MT) this season, according to local website Financial Express.
Maharashtra, the main production region, had exported 92,342MT during the corresponding period last year, from December to April.
Vilas Shinde, chairman, Sahayadri Farmers Producer Company, said a major collective of 1,500 farmers in Nashik pointed out that the harvest was delayed by 15-20 days as the pruning of the vineyards was delayed.
Normally by September, around 25% of the pruning is completed by growers and another 20% pruning is completed by Oct. 15. This time, growers had delayed pruning expecting unseasonal rains leading to the drop in export.
“Now a glut-like situation is happening because the harvesting is in full swing resulting in high arrivals simultaneously from most vineyards. This is posing as a major challenge to growers, exporters and even buyers in Europe because of the lack of storage facilities,” Shinde said. Shinde was confident that the country would exceed the previous season’s export figures.
The nationwide lockdown has not been a major issue since most supermarkets in Europe are functioning normally and, therefore, grape export is gaining momentum, he said.
Jagannath Khapre, president of, All India Grape Exporters Association said that the season has been slow and exports should pick up momentum in the next few weeks.
Most Indian table grape exports this season have gone to the Netherlands, followed by the U.K. and Germany.
India had exported 193,690MT of table grapes in 2019-20 to all destinations.
Maharashtra is the top producer accounting for more than 81.22% of total grape production. Other major grape-growing states include Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
As per government norms, farmers wanting to export grapes have to register their vineyards. Around 45,583 plots have been registered under Grapenet- the traceability system established by APEDA.