Product Profile: Grapes
• The grapes market was valued at US$ 167.90 billion in 2018 and is estimated to reach a value of US$ 254.29 billion by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 7.19%
• The major grape producing countries include Italy, France, the US, Spain, and China. Italy was the largest grapes producing country, with an annual production of 8.2 million metric tonnes.
• Europe is the largest grapes producing region in the world, accounting for more than 45% of the world grapes production. The major grape importing countries are the US, UK, Germany, and China.
• The Netherlands, UK and Germany accounted for 90% of India’s grape exports to Europe. In 2017-18, India exported grapes worth Rs 1,900 crore to Europe, though the year-on-year rate of growth had declined in that year.
Table grapes are grapes intended for consumption while fresh, as opposed to grapes grown for wine production, juice production, or for drying into raisins
HS CODES: 080610 and 080620
International trade of grapes has expanded rapidly over the last few decades, with out-of-season fresh produce now being traded and consumed globally. Trade concentration has been driven by emerging traders who have changed the economic geography of grape production. Improving competitiveness in global markets is a major driver for entrepreneurs and policymakers.
Among continents, European countries exported the highest dollar worth of grapes during 2018 with shipments valued at US$ 3.1 billion or 29.4% of the global total. Following it in second place were exporters from Latin America excluding Mexico, but including the Caribbean at 23.8%; while 20.3% of worldwide shipments of grapes originated from Asia. North America came in next at 12.8% followed by African suppliers at 10.2%; far ahead of Oceania at 3.5%, which was led by Australia.
Top grapes exporters of the world
|Exporters||Value exported in 2018 (US$ million)||Unit value (US$/unit)||Share in world exports (%)|
|United States of America||1,210.388||2,391||11.5|
|Hong Kong, China||370.508||1,840||3.5|
Source: ITC TRADE MAP
The main exporters of grapes in the international market include Chile, the United States, and Italy. In 2018, the top three grape importing countries of Europe, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands, together imported around 25% of the grapes traded globally. Most of the countries of the European region import table grapes, while countries like Italy have huge acreage under vineyards, for the purpose of the production of wine. Many of the world’s finest quality wines are produced in the European countries.
A fruit for all seasons
Given their rapid rate of urbanisation and disposable income growth, middle-income countries have become relevant markets for grapes. Dynamism in consumer preferences is also evident in the year-round consumer demand for fresh fruits, which matches year-round availability, with consumers willing to pay more for imported out-of-season fresh products.
Advances in technology have also made international transactions easier, leading to an escalation in profitability for shippers exporting grapes and making produce ubiquitous to consumers globally, at affordable prices. Innovations in new varieties have allowed cultivators in the northern block to expand their production season and innovations in post-harvest and transportation techniques have buttressed reduce delivery time, thus helping maintain product quality and to cut shipping costs.
Communication and information technology has enabled shippers to track their cargos around the world to monitor quality, reduce risks of liability claims and cut delivery time. Technology has overcome the seasonal differences, thereby expanding exports. In addition to the counter-seasonal imports (i.e. importing during the months in which production is zero), in the northern block, the southernmost countries can produce grapes earlier in spring or later in autumn than countries further north.
Multiple, regional and bilateral trade agreements and reduction of tariff barriers as a result of WTO negotiations, have further boosted the trade and access to markets, thus providing consumers with an expanding array of fruits.
India’s top grapes export destination in 2018, US$ million
Commercially Grown Types of Grapes
|Name of the variety||Description||Berry diameter|
|Thompson Seedless||Berries are oval to oblong in shape with
T.S.S.18-22o Brix, acidity 0.5 to 0.7%
|16 mm to 18 mm|
|Sonaka||Berries are elongated, cylindrical and amber
colored, T.S.S. around 22 o Brix, acidity 0.4-
|16 mm to 19 mm|
|Sharad Seedless||Berries are oblong to elliptical in shape and
bluish black in color with T.S.S. 18-21 o Brix
and acidity 0.5-0.7%
|18mm to 22 mm|
|Tas-e-Ganesh||Berries are ovoid shaped and green to amber in
color with T.S.S. 20-22 o Brix and acidity 0.5-
|15 mm 20mm|
Source: APEDA, T.S.S.18-22o Brix is the configuration of size. TSS is Tungsten Super Shot.
Growing exports from India but persistent phytosanitary issues
India was ranked 11th in terms of global grape exporters in 2018. The country’s top exporting destinations for grapes are Netherlands, Russia, UK and Germany. In quantity terms, India’s grape exports surged from 92,286 tonnes in 2017-18 to 121,469 tonnes in 2018-19. The city of Nashik reported grape exports at an all time high for the season ending April 30, 2019.
According to data by APEDA, India’s grape exports to Europe rose by 31% yoy in 2018-19 to reach Rs 1,900 crore, with exports to Russia, China and other destinations increasing by 25-30%. Netherlands, UK and Germany took 90% share of India’s exports to the region.
Currently, Thompson Seedless is the ruling grape variety occupying 55% of the area under production with its clones. About 65% of the European demand is for colored grapes, while more than 90% of India’s grape export constitutes white grapes. Getting good colored varieties can help India get a bigger share of the international market.
Overall, grape growers in India are still facing problems on phytosanitary issues. They still await clarification and clear communication from government agencies about the latest norms, which needs to be more forthcoming.