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India blocks all Chinese apple and pear imports

The Indian government has announced a block on all imports of Chinese apples and pears, starting June the first. The reason cited is a bug that was discovered in a shipment of Chinese apples to the country a few weeks ago.

In a letter from the Indian National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) to the Chinese General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), it is expressed that, since the start of the year, several shipments from China contained mealy bug and fungus (Pseudococuss comstocki and Fusarium oxysporum respectively). Warnings have been sent out from January onwards, but according to the NPPO the situation has not improved, resulting in them executing this ban.

According to a Yantai apple grower and exporter, the situation is under control: “I already knew about the possible import stop three weeks ago. Two days ago, the Indian government released an official statement. The ban includes all apple and pear exports from China to India. The procedure we expect to follow is for India to send agriculture specialist to China to visit orchards and port terminals."

In the first few months, the block will have little effect as the Chinese apple export season is coming to an end. Some exporters have already finished their 2016-17 apple crop exports, others are sending the last containers in May.

“I am positive that this problem will be solved by the start of the next season. China is a huge apple supplier to India, and the Indian government likely does not to want to upset the market. The summer months are quiet months, and there remains enough time on both sides to solve this matter before the start of the next export season in September.”

The NPPO has expressed that it would like to send a delegation to China to "visit and verify the production fields/orchards, processing/packaging units of apples and pears and review the phytosanitary measures in place", according to the letter of the NPPO.

Publication date: 5/4/2017


 


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