Three figures – albeit approximate – characterize the current Italian grape season:
- 30% more yield than in 2021 (seedless and traditional varieties);
- 30% less consumption due to inflation;
- grower prices are about 15% lower.
A grape grower from the province of Bari explains: “Current prices for the Italia grape, the main variety in Apulia, fluctuate between
€ 0.30 and 0.50 per kilo, about 20 cents less than last year. There are still many bunches on the vines and they have no copper yet. There are not that many traders around and who is there shows great reluctance due to the difficult socio-economic context. And there are certainly growers who are willing to sell at low prices. Let’s say there is a climate of fear and many see no other way out than to sell the 2022 crop at bargain prices.”
Bunches of grapes not yet sold
“Even the prices of the seedless grapes have collapsed. They pay us about €0.60-0.70 per kilo. These are prices that under no circumstances appreciate the efforts of recent years in the field of innovation and research. “We would really like to just put down the work, like some processing industries do. But we have the fruit hanging on the vines, so we can’t afford it,” continues the grower.
Already at the beginning of the season, the sector saw the lack of demand for grapes, as had previously happened with certain fruits in the spring and summer. “Buyers tell us every day that sales are not going well and they advise us to get into promotions to stimulate consumption.”
“Usually, grapes are not missing from the consumer’s fruit basket, but this year orders are really limited. In reality, it is not that savings are made on grapes, but rather on food expenditure in general. Fortunately, the bunches are of exceptional quality and very occasionally we see that aspect rewarded,” concludes the grower.