Retaliatory tariffs start to bite

The international marketing magazine for fresh produce buyers in Europe
Maura Maxwell

BY MAURA MAXWELL

@maurafruitnet

Retaliatory tariffs start to bite

Mexican consumers being put off by higher cost of apples and blueberries imported from US

Retaliatory tariffs start to bite

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The price paid by Mexican consumers for US-grown apples, blueberries and pork has increased significantly in the weeks following the government’s implementation of tariffs in retaliation for taxes imposed by the Trump administration on steel and aluminium imports.

According to a report in El Financiero, which visited various markets, the price for a kilo of apples rose 15-30 per cent from June to July, while blueberry prices increased by between 50- 80 per cent in the same period.

“Apple prices have gone up from 50 pesos per kg to 65 pesos, it went up about a month ago, they say it’s due to tariffs," said Jesus Castañeda, a market vendor in Coyoacán.

Other fruit merchants said that the price of imported Red Delicious and other apple varieties was still rising day by day.

“Golden Delicious is at 75 pesos per kg [on Wednesday] and last Friday it was at 65 pesos. It has gone up a lot – all American apples are very expensive,” said Patricia Escutia, another market vendor in Coyoacán.

Official data from the National Information and Market Integration System (SNIIM), shows that since 5 June, the day that Mexico imposed a tariff of 20 per cent on US apples and other products, the price of imported apples had increased by 7.6 per cent.

In Mexico City’s Central de Abasto wholesale market, the maximum price increase for a 17kg box of apples was 13.3 per cent.

Blueberries, meanwhile registered increases of between 50 and 80 per cent compared to just over a month ago. “Right now we’re seeing 180 pesos per kg, but normally it’s 100-120 pesos,” said Lilia Gutiérrez, who sells the Coyoacán market.

In comments to the newspaper, one consumer, Yunuen Oseguera said: “As a housewife, I just cannot buy apples, they’re very expensive.

“These measures affect everyone, producers, importers and the final consumer, but I am not going to assume that cost, it’s fruit, not water, and at the end of the day I can do without it.”

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