Indian apple import volumes are forecast to fall again over the 2018/19 marketing year (July–June), according to a USDA GAIN report issued in November.
The report predicts imports to come in at 230,000 tonnes, 9 per cent down on the 250,000 tonnes imported in 2017/18.
The 2017/18 result reflected a significant decline on the 360,000 tonnes of apples imported in 2016/17. The USDA report pointed to the depreciation of the rupee, growing concerns about the global trade outlook, and a ban on Chinese apple imports as key factors behind the fall in volumes.
Chinese apples accounted for 52 per cent of India’s apple import trade in 2016/17. In China’s absence, the US emerged as India’s key supply source in 2017/18, producing 57 per cent of the apples imported by the South Asian nation. Chile followed the US at 15 per cent, with New Zealand third at 8 per cent.
New Zealand’s reputation for producing high quality fruit helped it return an average of US$1,246 per tonne over 2017/18, ahead of Italy (US$1,125 per tonne) and the US (US$1,099 per tonne).
Despite the decline in imports, the USDA has predicted Indian apple consumption to climb to 2.2m tonnes in 2018/19, up from 1.9m tonnes in 2017/18.