EU grape crop production continues to fall

Tue 12/11/2019 by Richard Wilkinson
EU grape crop production continues to fall

FAS EU reports that the EU is set for a 14% fall in its grape crop in 2019/20 (June/May), mainly due to a fall in the main producing country, Italy, where output fell 25% due to heavy rains during flowering. Production is also down in Romania (-12%) and Greece (-1.4%), while the crops are larger this year in France (+10.3%), Bulgaria (+9.2%), and Portugal (+1.2%). Volumes in Spain are expected to remain flat.

Overall, fruit quality should be good with higher sugar content due to the high temperatures recorded in July, August, and September.  Italy, Spain, and Greece together account for around 92% of the total EU volume Italy is the leading table grape producer in the EU, followed by Spain and Greece.  Total EU grape production area is expected to continue to contract due to lower profitability and stagnating domestic consumption.

The main seeded grape varieties in Italy, accounting for 70% of production area, are Italia, Victoria, Palieri, and Red Globe. Greece has around 17,000 hectares of table grapes, with Sultana (Thompson Seedless) and Victoria the leading varieties, but Crimson Seedless and Superior Seedless also gaining popularity. Spain is the leading EU producer of seedless table grapes, which are increasingly destined for export markets.  Spain has about 14,000 hectares of table grapes, with new varieties replacing older ones. Of the many varieties grown in Spain, the main ones are Apirena (Crimson seedless, Superior seedless, and Flame seedless), Aledo, l, Muscatel, and Red Globe.

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