Indian and Asia exporters look to Europe for growth ahead of Fruit Attraction 2019
Jun 11, 2019

Increasing importance of Asian-European fresh produce trade reflected in naming of India and Singapore as Guest Importing Countries at Fruit Attraction’s 2019 edition

MADRID, SPAIN, 11 June 2019 --( ASIA TODAY )-- Fruit Attraction, the Madrid-based international fresh produce trade exhibition, is expected to attract more than 200 importers, retailers and buyers from India and Singapore to its 2019 edition, thanks to increasing interest in European markets from the sub-continent and wider Asia. In fact, one leading Indian table grape exporter predicts that Fruit Attraction will be increasingly important for exporters from Asia – as well as for sources such as South Africa and Chile – as a result of favourable seasonal timing.

With India and Singapore named Guest Importing Countries for the 2019 edition, which takes place in Madrid, Spain from 22-24 October, Fruit Attraction is likely to attract increasing attention from Asia over the next seven months.

Nitin Agrawal, Managing Director of leading Indian table grape exporter Euro Fruits, which has been exporting table grapes from India to Europe for the past 27 years, said Europe was the central focus for his company and would remain so going forward. “We are a 100% Europe-focused company, it’s very important for us,” he said.

Agrawal said Euro Fruits, which exports principally to the UK, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Germany and across Scandinavia, was examining further export expansion, with a particular focus on central and eastern Europe where he believes further growth can be achieved. “Eastern Europe is still a very unexplored market for us, so we are interested in exploring countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia – these are areas where we are not very active, so eastern Europe is potentially very interesting for us,” he said.

Advantageous timing

If there are challenges for India’s table grape exporters, Agrawal said it may well be an over reliance on a single variety, Thompson Seedless, although he added this was compensated for by a favourable export window. “In India, we tend to rely on one variety, but time-wise we are in a very comfortable position, as we come after the end of the South African and Chilean seasons,” he explained.

Agrawal revealed that Euro Fruits was working on integrating new varieties, although he stressed that these were unlikely to be commercially available for another year or two. Looking ahead to Fruit Attraction 2019, Euro Fruits’ Managing Director said the event had developed enormously since its first edition, and predicted that its relevance would only increase.

He said: “When I first went to Fruit Attraction 10 years ago, nobody was interested, but now we see that it has some real advantages – I think the timing is just fantastic, Madrid is a fantastic city, the weather is fantastic, so this event is now becoming more and more popular and is definitely going to be a big competition for other shows in the future.”

Export opportunities

Both India and Singapore have become increasingly important as destinations for EU fruits and vegetables over recent years, according to Fruit Attraction Director, Raúl Calleja.

“These are very interesting markets for European products,” he said. “In the case of India, importing food is a growing trend, driven by the new Indian middle and upper class, who are looking for healthier food options.

“Singapore on the other hand is a big food importer. Some 90% of the foods consumed in the country are imported. It is also a major distribution centre for countries in the region. The EU also reached a Commercial and Investment Agreement with Singapore in February, which could help boost more exports to the region.”

Overseas growth

EU exports to India grew by 306% in value between 2014 and 2017, reaching a total worth of €46.7 million, with apples being the main exported product. Over the last four years, from 2014 to 2017 they grew by 416% in volume and 309% in value, totalling 60,556 tonnes and €46.7 million, with apples being the main exported product at €31 million, according to data from European Statistical Office, Eurostat.

Exports to Singapore also increased by 60% in value during the same period, from €20.8 million to €35 million, with apples, kiwis, persimmons and onions accounting for the majority of exports.

In terms of exhibitors, international participation in Fruit Attraction accounted for 36% of the total at the 2018 edition, featuring 580 companies from 40 countries, including China, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina and South Africa. Exhibitors from Angola, the United Arab Emirates, Finland, India, Iran, Mali, Malta, Russia and Serbia also participated in the fair for the first time.

The 2019 edition of Fruit Attraction will take place in the Feria de Madrid exhibition centre, Madrid, Spain from 22-24 October.

Steven Maxwell/ Claire de Fossard
+44 (0)1225 835043
+52 (1) 442 252 1709

- ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution