Building Back Demand in India for U.S. Apples

They could not be any happier about once again exporting apples to India, but apple growers know there’s still plenty of work left to build back what used to be our number two market. Washington Apple Commission president Todd Fryhover says September’s lifting of Section 232 tariffs on U.S. apple imports to India was a huge relief.

“So, we were at the 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.” 

For U.S. apples, but for Washington state growers in particular, Fryhover says the apple market in India already had a great relationship with and appreciation of our apples.

“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 eight million bushels. And so there was already a very good reputation. So, when the duty came off, the importers just came running back as quickly as possible.” 

But Fryhover says regaining the market we had prior to the tariffs shutting down our access to India will take some time.

“Certainly, India was not lacking for apples during that process. So, we have a lot of work at the Apple Commission to build back that brand awareness and it’ll certainly take a number of years before we feel comfortable in that process.” 

Exports this year, Fryhover says are doing better than what was a down year in 2023, with both Mexico and Canada, our number one and two markets, taking up some of the slack.