Falling rupee makes apple traders see red

Aug 21, 2013, 01:06 IST | Richa Pinto

Import of apples has fallen from 30% to 10% owing to the fall of the rupee; traders say that a good yield of the Indian varieties has also contributed to the decrease in imports

For the picky ones who only eat apples imported from New Zealand or China, the hunt for their favourite kind of fruit just became more difficult. The falling rupee has led to a drastic fall in the amount of apples being imported in the country.

Rosy and healthy: Depending on their size, Indian apples are being sold for Rs 200 approximately in the retail market. Pic/Sameer Markande

Traders said that in the past, of the total crop, some 30-40 per cent would be imported. However, ever since the rupee started sliding, the amount has gone down to 10 per cent.

According to traders, another reason for the falling import of the fruit is an abundance of the domestic varieties, especially those from Kashmir and Shimla.
At the Agriculture Produce and Marketing Committee (APMC) in Vashi, apples are imported from New Zealand, China, Australia, France, and the US.

Prices of imported fruit

Desi in demand
Ram Morde, a trader from Crawford Market, said, “Customers are opting for the Indian variety owing to the abundance of the crop; also the desi varieties cost much less than their foreign counterparts.”

He added, “With the rupee at an all-time low, traders would definitely import lesser quantities as customers are hesitant to buy fruit at such exorbitant prices.”

Indian apples in the retail market cost approximately Rs 200 while in the wholesale market they cost Rs 150 per kilogram, whereas the imported quality sells for Rs 800-2,000 per box in the wholesale market.

Sanjay Pansare, director of the APMC fruit market says that the apple season is in full bloom currently.

“With the rupee at the stage that it is at, traders are hesitating to import as customers may not want to buy the produce at exorbitant prices. It is obvious that no trader wants to take such chances and hence, they are banking on the Indian apples, this season,” said Pansare.

The number of trucks of apples coming in from Shimla 

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