Grape exports to Europe set to beat last year's figure
India has exported around 85,000 tonne grapes to Europe this season till date and is likely to cross last year’s shipment of 1.08 lakh tonne, exporters said. Last year, the Country had exported more than 1.08 lakh tonne grapes to Europe, thanks to the favourable weather and good crop. Jagannath Khapre, President, All India Grape Exporters Association ( AIGEA), said that the Country could either better last year’s exports or come close to it by the end of the season which is likely to last for another couple of weeks. However, the Country has not been able to crack the issue of stricter residue monitoring plan norms by several countries. Like Europe, countries that import grapes from India, including China, Indonesia and Russia, have decided to issue stricter Residue Monitoring Plan (RMP) norms to the Country. India has been trying to make inroads into new export markets such as China, Russia, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. However, these countries have now decided to come up with norms for Indian grapes, which may affect the export prospects of India this season. A couple of years ago, the EU had agreed to retain the residue levels of chlormequat chloride (CCL), a plant growth regulator, at 0.05 ppm (parts per million) for two years.
In August the same year, EU had proposed to change the pesticide residue levels in grapes to 0.01 ppm causing unrest among Indian exporters. The relaxation by EU remains valid for the coming season as well. Khapre said that the approvals from the rest of the world are likely to come in by June by which time the season would be over.