Agri Business

Import curbs on apples may jack up prices

| Updated on: Nov 18, 2015
image caption

Only Nhava Sheva Port allowed to import

Imported apples are likely to be expensive in southern States following the recent port-wise restriction imposed by the Director General of Foreign Trade. 

DGFT in a circular dated September 14 has allowed only Nhava Sheva Port in Maharashtra to import apples into the country purportedly to protect the interest of domestic producers.

According to traders, the restriction has put fruit importers especially in a fix, as they fear a price rise following the move. The decision, they said, would lead to a hike in transporting cost as the logistics rates would be much higher for moving these commodities from Nhava Sheva to various parts of the country. 

Kerala being a tourist destination requires higher quantities of superior grade apples for foreign tourists visiting the State. It is pointed out that the major share of this requirement is now being met through imports. The import of apples happens around the year whereas domestic produce is only seasonal. This in itself makes domestic apples more expensive in the State. Even though India has had good production this year, it was limited to the hilly states.

The Cochin Port Trust had alone handled nearly 13,735 tonnes of imports last year mostly from the US and Australia, they pointed out.

The Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry has taken up the matter with Commerce Ministry to convince the DGFT for making amendments in the order by allowing apple imports through all the major ports. This will create a level playing field for all ports vis-à-vis apple imports, C.S.Kartha, the Chamber President said.  

“When we already have better quality imported apples at affordable prices, we feel that this could disturb the prevailing competitive market in Kerala”, he said.

The Chamber also requested the Government to look into the possibilities of improving apple exports rather than focussing on the retail market considering the record production this year.

Published on January 22, 2018

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