Indian grape exports to Europe down due to Chilean influx

Indian grape exporters have slowed down European consignments for a few days, thanks to the heavy influx of Chilean grapes. The European market is the mainstay of Indian exporters. With Chile having an early season, the European market has become overcrowded, leading to a crash in rates, said Gagandada Khapre, president of All India Grape Exporters Association. While India has crossed the 50,000 tonne export mark to Europe, hiccups developed when Chile began sending their produce to Europe. Rates have fallen and, as a result, exporters are getting cheaper rates of barely R40-45 per kg. This has led to a price fall, he said. Khapre, however, believes that this is a temporary phase and exports are likely to pick up after March 20. The Chilean season lasts only till March end and Indian shipments will continue till April. Last year, India had exported around 85,000 tonne to Europe and this year as well, India will be on target, he said. The country has already crossed the 1 lakh-tonne mark as far as exports to other countries are concerned, he said, adding that Indian grapes have already reached Bangladesh and Russia, among other markets. According to senior officials from the horticulture department, there is a huge demand for black grapes in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Till date, exports to the Netherlands have been maximum to the tune of 492 tonne, followed by Italy.