On 5th Decemeber, India’s largest grape-producing region, Maharashtra, was struck by tropical storm Ockhi, which left a ravaged crop in its wake. Output was already expected to be lower before the unseasonable rains hit Maharashtra. Harvesting is due to commence in mid-December, reaching a peak between February and March.
Adverse weather conditions earlier this year will lead to a lower than average crop with the latest deluge causing the skin of grapes to split. 125.5 mm of rain fell on Nashik, which accounts for 90% of the region’s grape exports, just as the crop was being prepared to enter the market. It has been a tough year for India’s growers with unstable weather and a monsoon that ended later than usual. Before, the rains struck, grapes were being sold by producers at US$0.7-1/kilo for the domestic market and US$1-1.4/kg for the international market, but the latest setback should lead to a spike in prices.