The government of India has given Washington apple shippers a six-week delay on the implementation of a 25% retaliatory tariff against U.S. apples.
First set to take effect in June, the 25% retaliatory tariff is now postponed again from Aug. 4 to Sept. 18, according to Mark Powers, president of the Yakima, Wash.-based Northwest Horticultural Council.
“It is good news,” Powers said Aug. 6. “What our hope is that they don’t just postpone it, they find some solution that takes it off completely.”
Washington apple exporters don’t ship much volume to India in the late summer months, but shipments will increase again beginning in November and December.
While the delay is good news, the immediate economic impact is limited, Powers said. If India proceeds with the retaliatory 25% tariff on mid-September — on top of the regular duty of 50% on imported apples — it would be a blow for 2018-19 Washington export shipments, Powers said.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that from July 2017 to June 2018, India represented the second largest export market for U.S. apples, behind only Mexico.
U.S. exporters shipped $174.7 million of apples to India from July 2017 to June 2018, up 96% from $89.2 million shipped the same time frame the previous year. By volume, the U.S. shipped 167,951 metric tons to India from July 2017 to June 2018, up 80% from 93,534 metric tons during the same period the previous year.
Here are the top ten markets for U.S. apple exports by value, from July 2017 to June 2018, compared with the previous year:
- Mexico: $290.96 million, up 12%;
- India: $174.7 million, up 96%;
- Canada: $168.39 million, down 1%;>
- Taiwan: $66.85 million, down 20%;
- Vietnam: $41.5 million, up 14%;
- Hong Kong: $34.4 million, down 21%;
- Indonesia: $33.4 million, down 11%;
- United Arab Emirates: $30.4 million, up 10%;
- Israel: $20.8 million, up 123%; and
- Dominican Republic: $19.6 million, down 14%.