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100% import duty hits walnut shipments from California

SAN FRANCISCO

Even as the nutritional benefits of walnuts are boosting consumer demand, the 100 per cent import duty and currency weakness have affected the exports to India, said California Walnuts Commission (CWC).

Walnut exports to India are likely to decline from California, which produces 99 per cent of the crop, due to 100 per cent import duty and weakness in the rupee, Senior Marketing Director, International, Pamela Graviet told PTI here.

“We expect the exports to India to go down further as the Indian government has imposed 100 per cent import duty on walnuts in 2017-18 from the earlier 30.9 per cent. This has increased the prices of the nuts and impacted demand,” CWC Senior Marketing Director, International, Pamela Graviet told PTI here.

The walnut crop year is from September-August. India produces around 30,000-35,000 tonne walnuts in Jammu and Kashmir, according to govt data.

The overall demand for walnuts in India is growing steadily and is around 45,000 tonne. The CWC began exporting the nuts to India four years ago and exported 10468.43 tonne in 2017-18.

“The numerous health benefits of walnuts are steadily boosting the demand of the nuts in India. We expect that once the tariff issue is settled, the exports to the sub-continent will grow,” Graviet added.

India, like many other countries is becoming vulnerable to many lifestyles ailments including diabetes, hypertension, obesity among others, she said adding that it is clinically proven that walnuts help in managing these health issues.

The top export markets for the CWC are Germany, Japan, Turkey, China, Korea and Spain, she said.

“India ranked 10th as an export destination. However, it dropped in rank in 2017-18 crop year when it increased the tariff to 100 per cent from the earlier 30.9 per cent,” she said.

The CWC expects the ranking to improve again eventually as the Indian consumers are hungry for healthy vegetarian food and walnut is a good nutritional choice.

(PTI)

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