California almonds are being hit with another tariff hike, this time from India.
The country is imposing a 70% tariff on American imports, including apples and almonds. The move is in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum, and it comes on the heels of China increasing its retaliatory tariff on almonds last year.
The California almond industry has invested heavily in the India and China markets. India is the No. 1 importer of almonds in the world, and California is the No. 1 producer, growing 80% of the world’s supply.
Almond grower and producer Dave Phippen of Manteca says India is the state’s biggest customer.
“They outperformed shipments going into China almost every year, so that’s a market we hold very close and we’re hoping this doesn’t impede shipments of this very large crop that we’re going to ship next year,” he said.
Phippen says a 70% tariff will be costly for Indian customers.
“The duty will increase the price of almonds going to an Indian customer by that amount and so it will have some impact on the consumers in India, and we’re disappointed that they’re going to have to pay more to get access to this really fine quality protein,” he said.
This year’s almond crop is expected to set a new record, but Phippen says it’s impossible at this point to know how the tariffs will impact prices worldwide.