Washington apple growers strategize rebuilding of Indian market post-tariff era
Washington’s apple industry is navigating the path to recovery as exports to India resume following the removal of tariffs in September.
The President of the Washington Apple Commission says that led to a significant increase in shipments compared to the previous season.
“So, we were at the same duty as all other origins and that spurred on the additional interest in exports, but then the larger crops, so we’ve got two bonuses going that have perpetuated itself into a rather dramatic increase in shipments this season versus last in India,” according to Todd Fryhover.
While he acknowledges the favorable relationship India had with Washington state apples even before the tariff removal, rebuilding the market to its pre-tariff status will require time and concerted efforts.
“I think that you know, when we look at India, of course India, red delicious is a variety that they’re very aware of because they grow it there themselves. The amount of product we shipped in there in past years, pre-Section 232, the last year that we shipped, we shipped 8 million bushels. And so there was already a very good Washington reputation. So, when the duty came off, the importers just came running back to Washington as quickly as possible,” Fryhover explains.
While exports to India are on the rise, the process of rebuilding brand awareness and market share could be a gradual one.