Prepare yourself for this season's Grape Export

profile picture BookMyCrop Apr 12, 2022

The Indian grape harvest is approaching. The crop is good this year, both in terms of quality and quantity, according to the Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual Report for India, which forecasts a 5% increase in table grape exports.

So, now that geographical barriers have fully opened, is your company ready to take a piece of this market?

An Overview of Indian Grape Exports
The yearly rate of growth in grape exports to Europe has slowed, from 32% in 2016-17 to a negative 12% in 2019-20. According to data from the Agricultural and Processed Foods Export Development Authority (Apeda), exports have climbed in value from Rs 431 crore in fiscal 2009-10 to Rs 2,176 crore in fiscal 2019-20, with the highest value of the decade recorded in 2018-19 at Rs 2,335 crore.Grape shipments to European countries declined by 18% the next season, 2020-21. Only 74,944.261 tonnes were exported by March 2021, compared to 92,342.403 tonnes the previous season.

Table Grape Exports Have Not Been Great In The Last Two Years
Grape exports have declined due to labour shortages, a lack of suitable containers, rising sea freight charges, and shipping delays. The situation was exacerbated by limited demand and a preference for home market supply when export prices rose too high. In other words, producers' and exporters' margins were slashed at every turn: production, packaging, and shipping.

The Upcoming Grape Season Will Gain Speed
Since the grape-growing region was blessed with good weather, this year's vine bore a good yield. As a result, growers anticipate higher-quality fruit. Furthermore, unlike last year, when the pandemic-lead lockdown postponed trimming and harvest, there were no limitations this year. With more personnel available, production was stable and is expected to increase by 26%, reaching 2.9 million MT, which is comparable to pre-pandemic levels.

To Prepare For The Season, Resist Challenges
A successful harvest does not always imply a successful season for grape exporters.This is especially true if current packing and freight rates, which are around US$8,000 for one reefer to Rotterdam, continue. Traders would have to raise grape market prices considerably above what is reasonable to recoup the costs. Low demand and, as a result, fewer sales would result from high prices.

Conforming To And Demonstrating Quality
Non-conformance to quality is another stumbling block. In 2019, the European Union issued 1474 notifications of border rejections for Indian shipments. It's a common problem, especially in fresh fruit. Rejections at the border occur for a variety of reasons. To begin with, farmers continue to use traditional methods to assess quality. It allows for faults and mistakes, resulting in a cargo that does not meet quality standards by the time it arrives at its destination. Two, EU importers demand well-structured papers that demonstrate quality assurance and verification.

Even if your grape crop is of exceptional quality, it is nothing without the reports. In the international market, photographs exchanged on messaging applications aren't counted. Compliance will become increasingly difficult as new restrictions, such as the requirement of using alternate packing methods for protection of the grapes, coming into effect from January 2022. This is where grape quality digitization technology saves the day for exporters.

Make 2022 a standout year for grape exports
Exporters of grapes faced a tumultuous 2020 and an uncertain 2021. Despite the closure of borders and shipping restrictions, India shipped grapes worth $323 million (approximately 267,000 MT). By volume, the European Union received 32% of the total.

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