The European Union table grape production is forecast to increase slightly with exports decreasing in the 2021-22 marketing year, according to a USDA report.
The production forecast is 1,386,000 metric tons (MT), up just one percent from the previous season, mostly due to dry temperatures in May that favored fruit setting increasing volumes in Italy.
Production increases are also forecast in Spain, Romania, Portugal, and Bulgaria while decreased volumes are expected in Greece and France due to unfavourable weather.
EU table grape exports are forecast slightly down from 173,000MT in 2020-21 to 170,000MT as a result of high transportation costs and bureaucratic delays.
Seedless varieties (Sugar Crisp, Sweet Sunshine, Sweet Celebration, Sweet Sapphire, Jack’s Salute, and Cotton Candy) are mainly sent to the UK and the UAE. Spanish table grape exporters are still developing newly opened markets in China and Vietnam.
As the EU is a net importer of fresh table grapes, for marketing year 2021-22 imports are forecast slightly up, driven by a recovering domestic demand.
During marketing year 2020-21, EU table grape imports increased by approximately 14 percent from the 2020-21 season, compensating for reduced domestic production.
The EU table grape area for marketing year 2021-22 is forecast to keep the upward trend given new investments in seedless varieties in Italy, Spain and Portugal, driven by increasing demand.
Overall, fruit quality is forecast to be excellent with higher sugar content due to hot temperatures in July, August and early September.