The production of Grapes
The worldwide production of table grapes is around 180 million quintals. Asian countries, with 50% of the world production of grapes are the major producers of grapes, while China is the world leader producer.
Among the producers of grapes for fresh consumption, instead, there are Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Italy, Spain and Greece, and Chile, the United States and South Africa. Egypt can be counted among the new producers of grape, because of the climate condition favourable to obtain early varieties of seedless grapes.
Most quantity of the fresh grapes assigned to the international markets (processing of grape, export of grape, import of grape, trade of grape, wholesale of grape, etc) come from Chile (as to seedless grapes) and from Italy: these two countries, together, represent 45% of the world production of grapes and of the world export of grapes.
The production of Italian table grapes represents excellence in the export of Italian fruit worldwide. The average national production is around 14 million quintals of rapes, of which 70% produced in Apulia. Smaller quantities are produced in Sicily, on the Ionic coast of Basilicata, in Abruzzo and Lazio.
The Italian production of grape still points to the seeded varieties, thanks to the extraordinary productive and organoleptic characteristics of the most important variety, the Italia grape, which permitted producers to obtain an optimal profitability for over thirty years. Instead, the production of seedless grapes assigned to the trade, is now small, even though the trend is going toward the production of this variety of grapes: for example, above all Spain is investing much on the seedless varieties of grapes. The seedless varieties of grapes produced in Italy, are instead only 5% of the overall production; Sugraone and Crimson are the most important varieties, followed at long distance by Thompson, Centennial, Sublima and other varieties.
As to the Italian export, instead, the Italian grapes are exported for the 88% to the European Union, and only for the 12% to non-EU countries. The major European buyer of Italian grapes is Germany, with more than 110,000 tons, while, among the non-EU countries, stands out Switzerland, which buyes more than 28,000 tons of grapes coming from Italy.
The areas for the production of table grapes of the Eastern Sicily, compared to all the other countries of the Mediterranean area, had a record as to the early ripening of grapes varieties Matilde, Cardinal and Victoria. In the latest years, some countries of North Africa, among which Egypt, also thanks to international financing, have grown new vineyards with seedless cultivar, obtaining early productions compared to those of Sicily.