US apple imports to India to drop by 50%

India is likely to witness a 50 per cent drop in the import of Washington apples during the current season ending July 2016, due to a decline in production, according to a top official from Washington Apple Commission.

Last year, India imported 5.5 million boxes, of 20 kg each, of Washington apples and this year, the figure will be in the region of 2.7 million boxes, said Todd Fryhover, president of the Washington Apple Commission.

He also attributed the decline to high exchange rate and denial of entry through Indian ports for four months.

“The current season is challenging for us due to low yield. We are not exporting as much as we did last year. We are in India to build long-term relationships and achieve larger volumes.” said Fryhover.

The U.S produced 2.8 billion kg of Washington apples during August 2015-July 2016 and is expected to end the current season with 2.3 billion kg. About two-thirds are consumed locally and the rest exported to over 60 countries, including India.

Mexico imports 15 million boxes of apples per year, followed by Canada with seven million.

Mr. Fryhover has been in India for the last two weeks, visiting about 60 traders and importers in different cities to help explain the low yield.

"India ranks among the top five importing countries. Last year, it was ranked third and this year it will go to the fourth place. We hope the ranking will improve during the next season,” he said.

Source: thehindu.com

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