While forecasting a slight decline in the import of apples to India during the market year (MY) 2022-23 (July-June), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said apples from Iran were likely to continue their strong export growth in the latter half of MY 2022-23. The shorter transit time between Iran and India and an attractive import price are the reasons cited.

The USDA FAS (Foreign Agricultural Service) report titled ‘Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual’ said India’s apple imports for MY 2022-23 are forecast at 4,30,000 tonnes, a slight decrease from the previous year’s 4,48,000 tonnes.

According to the report, Turkey was the major supplier with a 26 per cent market share during MY 2021-22, followed by Iran (23 per cent), Chile (18 per cent), and Italy (14 per cent), respectively.


It said Iranian apples are forecast to continue their strong export growth in the latter half of MY 2022-23 due to shorter transit times against other origins, and demand for apples in southern markets during the lean season. Turkish-origin apples will also maintain high market share, with distribution mainly limited to large, metropolitan areas, it said.

Price range

Highlighting the concerns of domestic growers due to the import of apples from Iran, it said the wholesale price of Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir-origin apples stood at ₹9,500 a quintal, as of October 29, whereas Iranian apples were at ₹8,000-8,500 a quintal.

In MY 2021-22, the average price was around $1,158 a tonne for US-origin imported fresh apples, followed by $1,117 a tonne for Chile-origin, $830 a tonne for Turkey-origin, $913 a tonne for Italy-origin, and $503 a tonne for Iran-origin.

It said US-origin apple prices remain elevated due to the Indian government’s retaliatory tariffs.

The market share of US apples continued to fall from 20 per cent in MY 2019-20 to less than 3 per cent in MY 2021-22. The report said: “This decline is largely due to the Indian government’s retaliatory tariff of 20 per cent on US apples applied in 2019. An additional challenge impacting US trade (and that of other origins) includes the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s requirement that imported apples must be accompanied by a certificate stating the product does not contain genetically modified (GM) organisms and is not of GM-origin.”

Domestic production

USDA’s FAS New Delhi has forecast India’s apple production at 2.35 million tonnes (mt) for MY 2022-23, mostly unchanged from MY 2021-22. It said the 2022 monsoon provided sufficient rainfall during the flowering and fruit setting period, resulting in a favourable harvest with strong market arrivals.

Jammu and Kashmir contribute approximately 70 per cent to domestic apple production. Himachal Pradesh’s share stands at around 20 per cent. Uttarakhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Sikkim account for a combined 10 per cent of production, it said.

For MY 2022-23, Himachal Pradesh allocated 1,45,000 tonnes of apples to be procured by state marketing agencies through the market intervention scheme (MIS). As of October 21, state agencies in Himachal Pradesh had procured over 80,000 tonnes of apples. The report said it was the highest procurement since 2010.

Jammu and Kashmir’s MIS programme for apple procurement is maintained by the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation. However, farmers have not utilised it due to higher-than-expected prices above the MIS rate, it said.

Some private companies, including Devbhumi, Reliance, and Adani Agri Fresh (Farm Pik) procure directly from farmers and operate their own warehouses and pricing schemes, apart from government-controlled market yards, it said.


According to the report, apple consumption in India could be around 2.6 mt during MY 2022-23, roughly unchanged from last year. Approximately 60 per cent of the fruit is consumed fresh, while the remaining 40 per cent consists of apples processed from lower quality domestic production.

Major factors fuelling apple demand include increasing population, growing disposable incomes, health awareness, and fruit availability in the market, it added.