The first Indian grapes have arrived in a relatively difficult market. "Especially the red, seedless grapes have to contend with a large supply from South Africa. Prices are already low and will not improve," says the Dutch company, Origin Fruit Direct's, Corne van de Klundert.
"The supply of white grapes has been much lower since the beginning of February. There is also talk of a slight price increase. The price for Red Globe grapes has dropped in recent weeks. However, I expect there will be more room for these grapes. This is because, with these prices, it is becoming more interesting to countries such as Chile to send their grapes to other destinations."
This month, Corné, and his Indian colleague, Nitin Ingale, visited India. There, Origin Fruit Direct's parent company, Mahindra, took a new grape packing station into use. Here, 90 tons of grapes can be packed daily.
"What is new is that, from this season, the grapes will be placed in, among other sizes, 250g packs in India already. With this we are playing in on the convenience trend", says Corné. “Another first is that this year, we will also offer FairTrade certified grapes. This product's share will grow significantly next year."
"The Indian grapes are of very good quality. Up to now, the volumes have been 20% higher than last year. However, some cultivation areas will end their seasons earlier. This means the total volume is expected to be comparable to other years," says Corné.
According to the importer, there is very little talk of panic in the second half of the season. This is despite the cold weather experienced in India. "We have sufficient volumes available to fulfill all our programs."
"Europa and the UK remain India's most important export markets. The country has, however, been attracting other markets. These include the Far East and Canada. The volumes going to those countries are, however, at a significantly lower level," adds Nitin.
"Mahindra is very busy experimenting with new varieties. We will receive the first test batches of these this season. They are also carrying out tests with organic grapes. But these are not yet commercially available," he concludes.