Egypt: Promising table grape season with excellent quality

India has recently stopped shipping grapes to Europe and the market is expected to be clear of them in about fourteen days. In these circumstances, Egyptian grape producers, which will start the season next week, are expecting good market conditions. “We are starting earlier than last year and our shipments will reach Europe in about two weeks; thus, we believe that by the time we enter the market, most of India’s produce will be finished,” states Nader Hussein, of Ragab Farms.
Egypt has had ideal weather conditions this year for the cultivation of grapes and the fruit’s quality, according to Nader, is excellent. As a result, “we believe that European markets will have a preference for our produce, and even though no exact estimations are available, the campaign should be really good volume wise. It is looking really promising.”

Ragab Farms will start packing some shipments for clients in Germany this week, and volumes will increase quite a lot the week after that. The varieties grown include the Prime, SugraOne, Arra10, Flame and Arra11. “By mid-July we will mostly be finished except for some late varieties such as Crimson Red or Autumn Royal,” explains Nader. “If everything goes to plan, we should ship around 1,000 tonnes of table grapes, mostly to Europe.”

As a whole, Egypt exports approximately 140,000 tonnes every season, which represents between 7 and 10% of the country’s total production, with the rest being sold domestically. “This naturally means that there is a great local market for Egyptian grapes, which offers the advantage of lower packing and shipping costs,” assures Nader.

Besides Europe, which remains the largest destination, some of the produce is also shipped to markets like Saudi Arabia, which pays good money when quality is good and Brix levels are high.

Indian grapes

There are still Indian grapes available and 1,000 containers on the water, according to Nina Patel from Fresh Express. “We aren’t shipping to the EU anymore, but prefer the Gulf region.” This is due to lower quality and prices are dropping drastically, because Egypt is also coming on the market.

The Indian grape season has come to an abrupt end, a sudden rise in temperatures between 15-20th April forced most producers to stop harvesting. Some packing is still taking place but that fruit is for the Middle East and SE Asia, the EU & UK having shut down on the 20th April.

For more information on Egyptian grapes:
Nader Hussein
Ragab Farms

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