India - Heatwave could have an impact on long term grape productivity

13.05.2024 77 views

The exports of Indian grapes towards Europe have come to a conclusion, according to Samir Singh, business promoter for Indian grape exporter Mersel Foods: "The Indian grape season for exports to Europe and other destinations has come to an end in week 16, around two weeks earlier than usual. However, harvesting for the local market is still going on and will continue until week 19."

With the current heatwave going on in India, there are certain risks that growers will need to manage to avoid losing productivity in future harvests, Singh explains. "Fortunately, the heatwave has not significantly affected the current season of grape production in India. However, it's essential to note that prolonged periods of extreme heat can have adverse effects on grapevines, particularly on their fruitfulness for future seasons. While the current season has been relatively unaffected, it's crucial for grape growers to monitor and manage their vineyards to mitigate potential long-term damage caused by heatwaves."

Despite the Egyptian grapes coming to the European market earlier than expected, prices of grapes have gone up as India ends its grape season, Singh states: "The early ending of exports of grapes from India has given some respite to the market prices. The availability of grapes is sharply diminishing in the market, pushing the prices steeply up. Egyptian grapes have made an early appearance in Europe, yet the demand and prices for grapes are going to be firmly high until the end of May."

Overall, this grape season was a challenging one, Singh feels. Especially combining the difficulties with logistics with the oversupply of grapes. "Confronted with several adverse factors, we have found the current season to be one of the most difficult. Longer transit, delays in arrival, higher freight charges and excessive oversupply of grapes have all contributed to the problems faced by Indian exporters. The only silver lining for our company was that despite the mentioned adverse factors, the quality of our grapes upon arrival was good and stable throughout the season so far, except some minor issues here and there. This was a litmus test for the post-harvest procedure that we have adapted at our facilities, some of the practices are exercised exclusively by our company in the Indian grape industry."

Mersel did invest in a new packing facility recently: "Our company recently inaugurated a cutting-edge packing facility for table grapes in India, underscoring a commitment to delivering top-quality products. This investment enhances quality assurance, competitiveness, and customer satisfaction, positioning our company as a preferred supplier in the global market," Singh concludes.

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