WENATCHEE - New tariffs on Chinese imports doesn’t seem to be discouraging retailers to purchase Washington apples but seasonal purchasing trends might be.
China buys Washington-grown cherries, apples and pears, which are all included in the 30 year trade dispute which spiked just a few weeks ago.
There was already a ten percent tariff on imports, so this new 15% duty is going to make the duty going into China at 25%.
While apple harvest in Washington is between August through November, this harvest is normally exported to China until early April due to the competition coming out of the Southern hemisphere.
“We naturally see our shipments drop off about this year,” said Washington Apple Commission President Todd Fryhover. “Most of the people I spoke to just last week when I was in Shanghai were going to continue to ship.”
As of April 1, the total fresh crop was 135.3 million boxes with 79.7 million sold.
While the Washington Apple Commission doesn’t really look at pricing, they are advocating for retailers and consumers in China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, India, Western Europe, Mexico, South America, Central America, Canada and the Middle East to purchase their crop.
“It’s not about shipment,” said Fryhover. “It’s about making sure the product quality is very good before you get it there.”
China’s zero-decay tolerance creates a heftier protocol for shippers and packers which means that the pricing in the marketplace is already quite good for local growers.
Fryhover said he thought the pricing in China wasn’t as good as last years but still good this year.
These tariff issues aren’t only being seen with China exports.
Exporting can range from places like Hong Kong, which is duty free and protocol free and makes it cheap and easy to export goods to India, where it’s 50% on the cost and freight value.
“If you deliver good product into China, youre not going to have any problems,” said Fryhover. “There’s lots of demand for good quality fruit and Washington has a reputation for providing good quality fruit whether it’s apples, pears or cherries.”