China: Apple import and export markets
Profitable news recently stimulated the apple import and export market. First, India relaxed apple import regulations, which positively impacted Chinese apple exports. India had started to tighten regulations for apple imports from China in June 2017, but now the regulations have been officially loosened in an announcement from the head of India's Directorate General of Foreign Trade.
How beneficial is India's new regulation for Chinese apple export? The Indian apple market is currently trading apples from storage. Chinese apple export will increase by several tens of thousands of tons in the next few months, but this is only a fraction of the apple supply in China. The new regulations in India will only provide a limited release of the pressure on China's apple market. The new regulations will not reverse the downward trend on the Chinese apple market.
The State Council Customs Tariff Committee announced on April 2nd that the tariff for 128 US import product categories will be raised. This new tariff impacts 120 kinds of fruit and related manufactured products. The tariff increased by 15%. China's apple import volume reached 68 thousand tons in 2017, which is an increase of 2% in comparison with the same period in the previous year. The 2017 apple import included 29 thousand tons of US apples. The USA is China's largest apple import supplier.
The Chinese high-end apple market is diversified. Apple supplies from New Zealand and Chile can easily replace the restricted supply of US apples. Second, the import volume is small. The benefits of decreased imports cannot compete with the immense pressure on the fatigued domestic apple market.
Therefore, although there is profitable news in both the apple import and apple export market, the actual market conditions will not change significantly. The apple market is primarily a domestic market. A discussion of the future of China's apple market needs to take the domestic market into consideration, and should not overestimate the influence of imports and exports on the situation.