Opinion

Adverse Weather Hinders Vineyards in India Marking a Third Consecutive Year of Lower Grapes Volume

Fresh Grape
Bangladesh
Published Dec 14, 2023
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Unseasonal rainfall has severely harmed India's vineyards, resulting in a considerable loss in grape volume for the third consecutive year. Over 50,000 acres of grapes have been devastated in the Sangli area, resulting in farmers' losses of around INR 10 billion. Weather changes have also impacted trade, with grape exports temporarily suspended to mitigate the risk of post-harvest cracking caused by sunlight exposure, according to Tridge On-the-Ground Update. The global demand for Indian grapes remains robust, but prices may fall if supply grows after Jan-24. Immediate steps are required to limit the impact of poor weather conditions on grape production and maintain its sustainability.

For the third consecutive year, India's vineyards have been severely impacted by adverse weather conditions, significantly decreasing grape volume. Unseasonal rainfall and strong winds have been the primary culprits, causing extensive damage to vineyards nationwide. Due to unseasonal rainfall, over 50,000 acres of vineyards have been destroyed in Sangli district. This has led to farmers facing losses of around INR 10 billion. Some vineyards were in bloom, while others were nearly ready for harvest. The situation is so dire that farmers' outfits have demanded immediate compensation and have threatened to protest if their demands are not met promptly.

This weather shift is damaging the crops and affecting the farmers' livelihoods. Farmers spend nearly INR 300,000 cultivating grapes on a 1-acre plot of land, from which, on average, the grape yield is 15 metric tons (mt). With the destruction of the vineyards, these farmers are facing significant financial losses.

Figure 1. Share of Export Destinations for India’s Grapes

India’s Grapes Export Share

Source: Tridge

The impact of these weather conditions extends beyond India's borders. According to Tridge On-the-ground updates, unexpected rains in India caused crop setbacks in late Nov-23, potentially causing 20% crop loss. Exports are temporarily suspended, but recovery is expected after December 11, 2023. The Netherlands, Bangladesh, and the United Kingdom (UK) were the top three market destinations for India's fresh grapes in 2022. In H1-23, India exported 273,911.87 mt of fresh grapes in total, an almost 2% year-on-year (YoY) increase compared to last year. In the observing period, Bangladesh took the lead as the leading destination with 67,125.50 mt of fresh grapes imported from India, despite a 22.88% YoY drop in volume.

The global demand for Indian grapes remains high, and the reduced supply has led to sustained prices. However, if the supply increases post-Jan-24, there could be a situation where the supply surpasses demand, leading to decreased prices. The problem is complicated because vineyards face crop damage due to unseasonal rain, marking the third consecutive year of reduced grape yields due to adverse weather. This pattern indicates a worrying trend for India's vineyards and calls for urgent measures to mitigate the impact of adverse weather conditions on grape production. In conclusion, the adverse weather hindering vineyards in India is a significant concern for local farmers and the global grape market. Immediate and long-term solutions are needed to address this issue and ensure the sustainability of grape production in India. Tridge expects fewer grapes quantities available in April this season due to the harvest ending ten days earlier than usual.

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