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Lucien de Wit, LuBaFresh:

"Fewer than expected Indian grapes being shipped"

The first white grapes arrived from India at LuBaFresh in the Netherlands on February 9. They now have enough for some availability outside programs. "The market's good enough. Prices could be slightly higher, but at least the sales are there," says Lucien de Wit.

Luuk and Lucien de Wit

"The grapes we're getting are of good quality. In India, the grapes were strictly controlled, especially at the start of the season, and those with Brix levels lower than 14 were blocked. The supply is, however, now lower because of the recent weeks' rain in several production areas. They should ship 20% less than anticipated and compared to last year's volume."

"The Indian grapes' outlook generally looks great. Last year, we got huge volumes from March to early April because grapes destined for Russia were sent to Europe. The market was crowded, and sales lagged. Now the containers coming in are sold almost immediately, and there's little stock on the market," explains Lucien.

"There are also few alternatives. South Africa has had many problems this year due to wet weather conditions. Chile, too, is suffering from quality issues and is sending 20-25% fewer grapes to Europe. All in all, for good quality, affordable, white seedless grapes, you quickly end up with India."

"Depending on their quality, packaged grapes now sell for €1.10 to €1.20 and for 4.5kg, between €8.50 and €9.50. I expect prices to increase somewhat soon, given that less is being shipped," continues Lucien. "Last year, we received the last containers on May 17; this year, the season will probably end earlier, and people will stop shipping as early as three or four weeks."

White Thompson grapes make up most of LuBa Fresh's Indian grape assortment. "The Indian grapes are supplied in 4.5kg paper bags. Most exporters have replaced their plastic carry bags with paper. A good development, as far as we're concerned. It looks better, which leads to increased sales," Lucien concludes.

For more information:
Luciën de Wit
LuBa Fresh
Tel: +31 (0) 777 777 715
Mob: +31 (0) 641 273 443
Email: [email protected]     

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