Diego Moeykens, Indiana Import:

“The table grape industry is changing rapidly, in all production areas”

At Indiana Import, the import grape season usually starts around mid-November with the products from Peru, and lasts until the end of April.

“This year, the transition between the Italian and Spanish seasons and the import grape was more smooth and without too much friction,” reports Diego Moeykens, manager of Indiana Import. “There were already fewer Spanish and Italian products available. Moreover, some European producers target the niche market which is looking for new seedless varieties. It is indeed the first time that we've started the season with the Italian varieties being more expensive than our grapes. It is evident that the table grape industry is changing rapidly, in all areas of production.” 

South-African production impacted by weather hazards
Two major players share the first part of the import grape season. “These are Peru and South Africa. For Peru, the season started slightly early this year. For South Africa however, the season was delayed by two weeks due to the low temperatures in production. Besides, the storms and rainfalls that fell on the vines at the end of December strongly affected the quality and yield of the South-African production.”

A balanced European market
Despite the current economic context caused by the crisis, the demand in Europe is satisfactory. The lack of products available creates a balanced market. “We think that this will last for another few weeks. Prices were slightly lower at the beginning of the year compared to last year. Nevertheless, I believe that on average, we will be within the same price range as last year. But we will have to wait until the beginning of the white grape season from India and the volumes available in order to know how the arrival of the merchandise will influence the market. That said, it is not a competitive grape in all sectors and in the eyes of all clients. Customers generally look for a white grape with a light color, large caliber and good sugar levels. And at the moment, few varieties meet all three criteria. We are proud to be able to offer the Timpson variety to our clients, which is possibly the best variety currently available.”

Different reaction from consumers between the first and second lockdown
After the first wave of Covid-19, Indiana Import had some concerns at the beginning of the season, but it seems to be going very well. “During the first lockdown, the red grapes did not sell. But this second wave of Covid-19 shows a change in the preferences of the consumers, who clearly react differently compared to the first wave. We can say that the consumption is satisfactory given the current economic situation. We are even surprised to see how good the current demand is for red seedless grapes and the Red Globe variety. It is quite rare for sales to be fluid for all grape varieties at the same time.”

For more information:
Diego Moeykens
Indiana Import
Perpignan - France

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