Washington Apple celebrates first new crop shipments to India
The Washington Apple Commission has announced the state's first shipments of new-crop Red Delicious bound for India.
This follows the South Asian country reducing tariffs on some U.S. agricultural products.
In June, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the White House and announced that India would lift 20% retaliatory tariffs levied on U.S. apples, thus offering a new opportunity for growers to recapture the massive Indian market.
Prior to the tariffs, India was a very important and strategic part of Washington apple exports, the commission says.
Since the tariffs were imposed other apple origins such as Turkey, Poland, and Iran have taken control of the Indian market share, dropping the market share for Washington growers from 53% to less than 1% in four years.
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“All Washington growers want is the opportunity to compete on equal terms in foreign markets. This shipment is significant because it symbolizes our ability to do that," says Washington Apple Commission President Todd Fryhover.
As of the week of Sept. 11-16, the state’s trade experienced an almost 17% volume drop, with 23,559,000 cartons shipped to export markets. The commission says that exports are 23.4% underway, but that a late start to the season could explain the decrease in shipments.
Of Washington’s overall exports, 64% go to Mexico and Canada, while 36% are offshore.