Pune: India closed its grape export season of 2018-19 with a 31 per cent rise in export of the fruit to Europe, the most premium market. Exports to Russia, China and other destinations are expected to have increased by about 25 per cent to 30 per cent.
According to Agricultural and Processed Foods Development Agency (Apeda), India’s grape exports rose from 92,286 tonnes in 2017-18 to 1,21,469 tonnes in 2018-19. The Netherlands, UK and Germany accounted for 90 per cent of India’s grape exports to Europe. In 2017-18, India had exported grapes worth Rs 1,900 crore to Europe, though the year-on year rate of growth had declined in that year.
Grape prices had slumped during the middle of the season for six weeks from mid-February till end of March due to oversupply. “As against the expected price level of 9 to 10 euros for a box of 5 kg grapes, we went with a price of 5 to 7 euros,” said Vilas Shinde, chairman of Nashik-based farmer producer company Sahyadri Farms, which is India’s top corporate exporter.
Shinde said that due to the slump in prices in Europe, realisations of farmers declined by an average ?15/kg during the middle of the season, which again improved in April.
Though Apeda is yet to compile data about the export of grapes to Russia and other destinations, Jagannath Khapre, president, All India Grape Exporters Association said, “We believe that the export of grapes to Russia and other countries must have increased by 25 per cent to 30 per cent.”
With one of the longest harvest seasons that spans from October to May, India has acquired closed to 70 per cent of the market share of white grapes in Europe for the March to May period. The exporters are now trying hard to get access to good quality coloured varieties, which have more demand in the international markets.
“About 65 per cent of the European demand is for coloured grapes, while more than 90 per cent of India’s grape export is white grapes. Getting good coloured varieties can help us get a bigger share of the international market,” said Shinde of Sahyadri.
Source: Economic Times