30 Jan A Sweet Turnaround: US-India Perishables Trade Blooms After Tariff Resolution
In the wake of evolving geopolitical dynamics, India and the US have found common ground to foster their perishables trade, particularly in the realm of fresh fruits. A pivotal moment in this trajectory occurred when both nations mutually agreed to eliminate retaliatory tariffs that had served as a significant impediment to trade.
Recent data from US trade sources reveals a remarkable surge in US apple shipments to India since September, totaling approximately 765,000 40 lb cartons. This stark contrast from the mere 9,000 reported shipments between September and December 2022 underscores the positive impact of tariff removal on trade volumes.
The removal of the import duty has not only facilitated increased quantities but also diversified the market with a range of apple varieties. Jim Bair, President and CEO of the US Apple Association, expressed optimism, stating, “We are seeing success in regaining our number-two market.” The success is not limited to lower-cost varieties but extends to higher-value produce like Fuji, Gala, Granny Smith, and others.
Mumbai-based fresh fruit importer, IG International, echoed this positive sentiment, emphasizing the significant surge in US apple movement due to the 20% reduction in import duty. Tarun Arora, Director of IG International, highlighted the enduring popularity of US apples among Indian consumers.
While the hi-tech-enabled temperature-controlled cargo solutions have enabled efficient transportation over the approximately 9,000 nautical mile journey, concerns loom large in the face of longer transits and escalating freight rates associated with the Red Sea crisis.
Despite these challenges, India has found an avenue for exports, with pomegranates being shipped to the US following the removal of restrictions. The opening of additional irradiation facilities to meet quality check criteria has been a significant factor contributing to the growth of India’s perishables trade.
While positive signs abound, the shipping crisis in and around the Red Sea route poses a potential threat to the aspirations of Indian exporters. As they navigate these challenges, leveraging efficient freight forwarding services becomes crucial for seamless and cost-effective trade operations.
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