India’s ban on supplies of apples and nuts from the United States might provide a great opportunity for Ukraine to gain a foothold in this market.
On June 16, India once again raised duties on imports of certain types of fruits and vegetables from the United States. This time, the promotion has become virtually forbidden. Among those types of products that are of interest to the Ukrainian market, American apples and walnuts came under increased duties.
Previously, the import duty on importing apples and nuts from the USA to India was 30%, but since last Sunday it has been quadrupled, in fact, to the forbidden level of 120% of the customs value of products.
“India has de facto banned the supply of apples and nuts from the United States, which provides an excellent opportunity for Ukraine to gain a foothold in this market, because already in the past season Ukraine has unblocked the issues of access to the apple market in India and even made the first successful shipments,” says Andrei Yarmak, head project to promote the export of Ukrainian food and economist of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
“India is among the four most important apple markets in the world, second only to Russia, Germany and the UK in terms of apple imports. If it were not for trade wars, then India would have bypassed Britain by this indicator. However, theoretically, this country could import all the apples that Ukraine can offer in the coming years, ”the FAO expert notes.
According to EastFruit, India imports annually about 300,000 tons of fresh apples worth more than $ 300 million US dollars. At the same time, even despite the increase in duties, the United States remained the main supplier of apples to India, even last year. Up to 150,000 tons of apples were shipped from the United States to India, and this was mainly red apple varieties, mostly Red Delicious.
India as an excellent alternative
“India could be an excellent alternative for the Russian apple market, especially since it can pay a higher price for an apple than Russia, even taking into account the additional costs of packaging and delivery of an apple. Nevertheless, in Ukraine, not all gardeners are able to produce apples of the required quality that would withstand such a long transfer and not everyone has the necessary well-colored red apple varieties necessary for supplies to India, ”says Fyodor Rybalko, head of the Ukrainian Fruit and Vegetable Association.
As for the walnut, there are also good opportunities for Ukraine. India annually imports about 20,000 tons of inshell walnut in the amount of more than $ 40-50 million US dollars. Virtually 100% of the supply of walnut to India is provided by only two countries - the United States and Chile. Ukraine occasionally exports small quantities of walnut to the Indian market, but until recently there was no system supply. Obviously, it will only be possible to deliver a walnut to this market if its quality corresponds to the quality level of walnuts from the USA and Chile.
According to EastFruit, in the 2018/19 season, Ukraine exports more than 60,000 tons of apples for about $ 22 million, or almost one and a half times more than in the previous season. Exports of nuts in physical terms will also increase, and also almost one and a half times, however, the proceeds from the export of nuts will decrease, due to the fall in world prices for walnuts and lower demand for off-grade nuts. This season, Ukraine is expected to earn about $ 125-130 million US dollars on the export of walnut, with the bulk of the export stream falling to the off-grade nut.