India: Prolonged rain devastates grape export

The whole grape growing region in India suffered from prolonged rainfall last week, according to one grower it was not the intensity of the rain, which was fairly light, but the duration which caused the problem.

"The rain pretty much covered the whole grape growing region. The rains were mild, however it rained for nearly 8-12 hours, this coupled with cold weather caused the damage," said a grower.

The present batch due for harvesting has had extensive damage in the form of cracked berries. This will see the produce from top notch farms, which is normally exported to Europe and the UK, being diverted to the domestic market.

Damage to the mango crop is not yet clear but it is almost certain that given the geographical location of the rain, which covered much of west and north India, that quite a bit of crop must have been damaged.
Reports in some Indian newspapers are saying grapes would be 50% down on last year (export) and mangoes 40% but this has not been confirmed.

The exact figures will be available next week, however according to the grower the rains have dented the bullish feel of the export season and is definitely going to see a reduction in export volumes. This is because the inclement weather has ensured that farmers would like to see their fruit sold immediately and not wait for time consuming MRL reports to come, in order to send the fruits to Europe or the UK.

Small farmers who have lost their whole crop are looking at plain losses, while larger ones who have staggered production will see reduced incomes. All of the damaged grapes will go for processing or into the domestic market.

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