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Pune: Grape exports dip by 10 per cent.

Date: 04-05-2018
Subject: Pune: Grape exports dip by 10 per cent
India’s grape exports dropped by at least 10 per cent by the end of this season. While India exported 7,700 containers of grapes to Europe last year, it exported only 7,023 containers of grapes this year, said Jagannath Khapre, president of the Grapes Exports Association of India. Maharashtra accounts for at least 80 per cent of the grape exports, and Nashik is a major producer of grapes. Due to better returns, the European market is targeted by most growers, although the cost of production is higher as compared to produce that goes to local markets.

While demand for Indian grapes has been healthy this year, at least 40 per cent of the crop was destroyed in the unseasonal rains in September and October. But the diminished produce had better quality, which buoyed the hopes of a good export season for many farmers. Exports continued normally till March, after which producers were not able to meet the demand. Vilas Shinde, chairman of Nashik based Sahyadri Farms, said the dip was sharp from April.

“The shortage in red grapes was noticeable from December onwards, and it kept on increasing as the season proceeded,” he said. Yields of the last crop were very low, which hit the export demands, As compared to 1 lakh tonnes of grapes exported to the European markets, this year, at least 92,104 metric tonnes were exported, Khapre said. “Bangladesh had hiked the import duty to 100 per cent, which impacted exports too,” he added.

On the brighter side, Shinde said that awareness about minimal residue limits (MRL) has increased a lot among the farmers. This, he hoped, will help farmers make more inroads into European markets. This year, Indian grapes were exported to Canada and export volumes to Russia increased substantially.

Source: indianexpress.com

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