Sad News for the American Apple Industry as new Tariffs Set to be Imposed on Their International Consumer Base
Apple farmers in the United States are bracing themselves for worrying times ahead as impending tariffs from India, Mexico, and China is geared to impact their businesses soon.
Despite this, the Apply industry in the United States has seen a gradual increase over the years. For example, Crist Brothers Apple Orchards based in New York managed an impressive harvest hitting the 20 million pound mark last year. This is all thanks to a surge in demand for apples by international consumers.
New Tariffs to be imposed
However, the new tariffs set to be introduced are predicted to have a negative effect on apple prices, seeing them drop and hence hurting orchard farmers.
In an interview with CNBC, Orchid manager Joel Crist says that their current margins are pretty slim, and if the prices will drop, the company might be counting their losses.
Additionally, if it drags on, the company might even go out of business!
So if the amount of apples being exported and sold to international buyers dwindles, analysts predict that competition between local producers will skyrocket; specifically the states of New York and Washington.
In fact, New York has one of the highest concentration of apple farmers, home to over 700 orchards spanning over 55,000 acres of land.
Tariffs will affect all farmers
Additionally, one apple farmer based in the Hudson Valley says that even though he does not target international markets, he is certain that the new tariffs will impact him as well. For starters, there is still plenty of confusion as to whether the new tariffs will lead to a decline in the price of apples, making it difficult for planters and companies to determine the demand of their products in the near future.
As one of the major growers of apples internationally, the United States exported apples totaling about $890 million between August 2017 to May 2018. This translated to a 20 percent growth in the industry as per the records of the U.S. Apple Export Council
Experts believe that this could be due to India, which is currently the fastest growing international market for Apple exports from the U.S. In fact, exports to India is growing at a whopping 94% every year as per government statistics.
Hence, it’s no surprise that the apple industry is a vital income source for thousands of Americans.
Heavy reliance on exports
President of the U.S. Apple Association, Jim Blair, reveals that the U.S. Apple industry relies heavily on its exports. As a matter of fact, the country exports one out of every three apples that are grown, enabling a massive $15 billion industry to maintain its stability. Additionally, the industry has led to the creation of over 71,000 jobs. Hence, exports are extremely vital for the industry, and the talk of tariffs is proving worrisome for farmers and investors alike.
Indeed, the apple season is just around the corner, and Hudson valley apple farmers are feeling the pressure to have as many apples as possible sold to cushion any dip in demand projected to take place internationally due to the tariffs.
For many investors, they predict that this could be the nail in the coffin for the apple industry, with farmers expected to barely make it on thin margins.
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