Weak rupee drags on Indian fruit imports

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Weak rupee drags on Indian fruit imports

Although the Indian rupee has made gains this month, the sharp devaluation of the currency this past year has taken its toll on importers.apples-en-bins_ffp

Fresco Fruits N Nuts managing director Manish Sharma of New Delhi said his company has slashed imports by around 50% in response to high prices and weak currency.

"This year the pricing for any product, whether you are talking about nuts or fruits, is very high. Last year we purchased apples starting from US$19 to US$24 from China. This year the same product is quoting at US$23.50 to US$30. The price has gone up and the rupee’s value has gone down, so we see a double impact on the product," he told www.freshfruitportal.com.

The rupee closed at 0.0167 to the U.S. dollar yesterday, down 9% year on date. At its lowest this year, the rupee dipped to 0.01467 to the dollar in September, according to XE.com.

For produce distributors such as Sharma, poor trade conditions have meant a greater focus on domestic products.

"Importers are surprised. After buying such an expensive product, the market is bad. Importers are losing money, especially for fruit products. To sell a container is very difficult at the moment," he said.

Sharma described a significant impact on imported apples, almonds, pistachios and citrus, noting India's limited buying power for high-priced, foreign goods.

"The purchasing power goes down and people don’t want to step in and buy products like apples," he said.

Photo: www.shutterstock.com


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