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India raising import duty on US apples will strengthen domestic prices

As was reported in a FreshPlaza article last week, India, in a retaliatory action, has lately increased import on 28 products including apples. The duty has been increased by 20 percent on apples, taking it to 70 percent.

This increase in duty on imports from the US is likely to strengthen the price of apples in India ahead of the domestic harvest season that begins in the last week of July. The domestic crop is expected to improve due to severe wintry conditions.

"The higher prices of US apples are likely to turn the consumers to domestic varieties or the US traders will have to give away part of their margins on import from the country to remain competitive in Indian market," a senior executive of Mumbai-based NGT Trading Limited, said.

The US is a leading exporter of apples to India and accounts for 30-40 percent of total apple imports in recent years. A better domestic crop of apple dents imports from August to March when the local fruit is available.

Traders maintain that the higher price of US apples will turn the trade to other destinations like Chile, Poland, Serbia and Turkey. India had also disallowed import of apple from Chin. last year. Traders based in Delhi said that India could allow import of apple from China. The Apple imports from China were stopped in 2017 over quarantine issues.

As explained on¸ India's domestic apple harvest has been marred by erratic weather in 2018 as hailstorm and untimely snow affected the crop in Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. The increase in duty has come as a positive development for domestic growers.

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