Volumes in Egypt sit at around 12,000 tonnes a year, with major concentration on the Sugraone and Flame Seedless varieties. Around 7,000t of that crop is being shipped to the European market.

Awad told freshinfo: 'The weather has been OK in Egypt this growing season,' he said. 'There has been a strange pattern of a warm winter and cold spring, with late rains coming into the equation too. But although we could be around one week late into the market, quality and taste is going to be good and volumes will be up on last year.' Cairo-based Fruitex exports 1,000t of grape, 90 per cent of which finds a home in the UK, through Capespan. 'The UK is an excellent market for us, particularly as there is a natural window for our product,' said Awad at last week's Macfrut, in Italy. 'We don't really have any competition during that period and Egyptian Sugraone is the best in the world. We are one of the new generation of exporters from Egypt and believe there is great potential for expansion without having to market too aggressively.' The company has been trialing new varieties in order to lengthen its potential season, specifically with the UK market in mind. 'We have been looking at US and Spanish varieties to extend our season to begin in mid-May and end in late August,' said Awad.