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Indian grape exports up 15%

In recent years, India has become an important player in the global grape market. This subcontinent has carved out a space for itself alongside South America and Southern Africa, in the market. Production has risen over the past few years and, although according to USDA statistics, the acreage has not increased, there are still new vineyards coming into production.

Grapes are an important product for the Indian sector. The acreage used for grapes stands at more than 138 000 hectares. The country has 140 000 hectares of grapes being cultivated, in total. This figure has remained stable over the last three years. Every year, a larger proportion of this acreage does, however, come into production. For the 2017/2018 season, 138 000 hectares will be harvested which will deliver 3 million tonnes of grapes. In the previous season, nearly 2,8 million tonnes were harvested from 136 000 hectares.

Large domestic market
The most important cultivation areas can be found in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. A lot of grapes are also grown in the north-western region of India, in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Maharashtra is, by far, the largest producer among these regions. It produces 80% of the total volume.

The vast majority of the grapes harvested are not, however, destined for export. Indian consumers buy 90% of the total volume produced. In 2016/2017, this amounted to 2,33 million tonnes. Consumption is expected to increase by six percent in the 2016/2017 season, amounting to 2,48 million tonnes. In order to supplement domestic production, India imports grapes from various countries. This increase in consumption is as a result of continual urbanisation and more expendable income. This is due to more women entering the job market. The growing awareness of health issues among the Indian population is also stimulating this rise in consumption.

Export climbing
Despite the large domestic consumption, India exports a significant volume of grapes. An increase of 15% is expected for the 2017/2018 season. This increase is estimated to be a volume of 230 000 tonnes. The Netherlands is India’s biggest buyer, good for 41% of the total volume exported. The United Kingdom follows far behind with 15%, and Russia’s completes the top three, with a share of ten percent.

On the import side, the US is India’s most important trade partner. The United States has a 51% share in India’s grape imports. Last year, this amounted to just more than $6 million. Peru follows with a share of 21%, with China in third place at six percent. Import grapes are available from July to December, during which time no domestic product is available. The US control a large part of the import market and sells its grapes at premium prices.

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