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Indian table grape season moving towards a good pace

After a few weeks’ delay, the grape season in India is finally picking up the pace. Sagar Deore, director for Indian produce exporter Janki Freshyard Private Limited, says a later start of the season has meant that export numbers for early varieties are lower: “The Indian table grape season started late and slow this year, but is moving towards a good pace gradually. The farmers and exporters are showing extra caution regarding fruit quality in terms of fruit sizes, brix levels, residual levels and shelf life this season. At this point, there are lower volumes of exported early season grapes to the traditional markets.”

There is pressure to supply the export-quality grapes as soon as possible, Deore explains. “This year we see similar demand from the traditional markets. Still, as the season got delayed by two-to-three weeks this year, there is pressure on the supply side to increase the volume as soon as better-quality fruit is available for harvesting. Almost half of the season is gone now and exporters and importers are trying their best to get their hands on solid volumes as per their respective market requirements.”

After a couple of difficult seasons in terms of logistical costs, the situation has finally completely recovered, according to Deore. “The logistical cost has come back down to the pre-Covid levels. There was huge pressure on the logistic costs for the last three seasons as sea freights increased by almost threefold for all the destinations. This year's logistic cost is normal and affordable to the exporters now.”

Deore states that Indian grape growers and traders will focus on more table grape varieties, as the cultivation practices are on the required levels. “I see Indian grapes quality improving every season year on year, as farmers are getting educated on using the better methodologies of agriculture, they understand well now what the requirements of each market are and follow the best practices that have shown continuous improvements. I see Indian grapes are at par now with their competitor's origins when it comes to size, shape, sugar and keeping quality.  As of now, the focus is more on growing traditional table grapes varieties, hence there are opportunities for new breeders worldwide to get their new varieties into Indian markets.”

The season is long and Deore feels they’ll have their work cut out for them, as everyone wants to get back on schedule after the season’s delay: “I expect some pressure on the supply side, as due to the delayed season they were unable to load the expected volume in the early season, and may want to cover it in this remaining part of the season this year. But I also see that most of the exporters are cautious in exporting volume to markets like Europe, as our past year experienced higher supply than demand, which affected the prices badly.”

For more information:
Sagar Deore
Janki Freshyard Private Limited
Cell/WhatsApp: (+91) 913 024 1585

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