Import of Chinese apples a threat to HP growers

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The fear of Chinese apples being sold in India, bringing down the prices of Himachal apples, has subsided — for the time being.

“Indian apples are fetching good prices, while Chinese apples are incurring losses,” said a Himachal Pradesh apple trader.

With the output of Himachal apples expected to be far less than last year, traders imported higher quantities of Chinese apples and dumped them in cold stores of Mumbai and Chennai among other port cities of the country.

Commission agents in Delhi’s Azadpur market say over 1,000 containers of China’s Fuji apple made its way into Indian shores.

Indian consumers are only ready to pay Rs 1,000-1,500 for each Chinese apple box, while the fruit is costing importers between Rs 1200-1400.

But at the same time, fresh and quality Himachal apple price is ranging between Rs 1200 to Rs 2200.

So far, over 1,500 containers of Washington apples from the United States have also been imported. This is costing around Rs 2,000 per box to the importer and is managing to fetch Rs 2,300-2,500 in the high-end Indian market.

Only a few weeks ago there was a panic like situation in Himachal with the state government requesting the Union government to raise import duty on Chinese apples, which they said would affect prices of local apples.

The matter was also discussed in detail in the state Assembly with a unanimous resolution being passed asking for raising of import duty on apple.

Others say local apple is fetching better prices as it is more fresh.

While the Chinese and American apples have been lying in cold stores for long, Kashmir apples have also started to make its way into the local market now. Fresh Chinese apples will start finding their way into India by the end of the year.

source: business-standard.com

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