Tag Archives: Grapes industry

Red Sea crisis presents challenge for Indian grape suppliers

Disruption to shipping services creates a major headache in terms of export shipments and imports of punnets.

India’s table grape shipments into Europe face a major challenge in order to overcome a sudden lack of logistical access via the Red Sea.

The disruption, which is the result of shipping lines diverting services away from the region in response to attacks on vessels by Houthi rebels, means exporters in the country are having to think on their feet and adjust their plans accordingly in the face of longer transit times around the southern tip of Africa.

That’s a potentially big problem for Europe’s grape buyers, who traditionally rely on India to fill a gap in supply between the Southern and Northern Hemispheres.

“The situation is scary and terrible, and the entire trade will be effected badly,” says Nitin Agrawal, managing director of India’s largest grape exporter, Euro Fruits. “We ship our first grapes this week. Now we face uncertain and longer transit times, a shortage of containers, fewer sailings. And our imported punnets from Italy are delayed by 30-40 days. Overall it is a complete mess.”

According to Agrawal, container freight rates were hovering around US$1,200 before the current crisis, but now they are “close to US$5,000”.

One table grape importer based in the UK told Fruitnet he agreed the next couple of months would be especially difficult for the entire industry.

“In terms of India, definitely challenging, although in theory it shouldn’t be a problem with vessels diverting around the Cape of Good Hope. “You just need to plan the extra cost of doing this and an additional two weeks transit time.”

However, with shipping lines are changing their plans and diverting ships to other ports at a moment’s notice, the situation in the Port of Mumbai remains uncertain. “It’s not clear what will arrive and depart Mumbai on time,” the importer added.

Source: Eurofruit

Photo by Maja Petric on Unsplash

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