USDA sees good prospects for almond exports to India

USDA sees good prospects for almond exports to India

High import tariffs on several food products continue to hinder growth of USA’s food exports to India, but there is a high demand for dried fruits and nuts in India, says report

The Dollar Business


The USDA has placed almonds on the top of the list in its recommendations for exporters in USA for entering the Indian market.

While saying that India remains a complex market to make inroads for food companies, USDA says that almond exports to India have been promising with an average growth of around 20% and a share of around 80% of India's total almond imports in the last five years.

India is a small but growing market for exporters in USA thanks to globalisation of food and higher incomes in India. According to official estimates, India’s imports of consumer-oriented foods, led by tree nuts and fresh and dried fruits, have doubled to around $3.2 billion in the last five years, and USA is a top exporter of almonds to India.

According to India’s Ministry of Commerce, almonds imports from USA stood at around $380 million in FY2013-14. It was about 78% of total almond imports by India in the year and up around 140% from around $158 million worth almonds that India imported in FY2009-10.

India-Almond-TheDollarBusiness Source - Ministry of Commerce, India

Higher income, an expanding retail industry, preference for healthy food, and changing tastes in India are reasons behind the growing demand for almonds in India.

Moreover, the boost to the food processing industry in India is expected to increase demand for food products such as almonds from USA in the coming years. Other export items with high potential include pistachios, fruits and fruit juices, sugar confectionery, sauces and beverages, says USDA.

However, there are challenges for USA exporters. “High tariffs (of around 30-40%) on the majority of food items along with effective bans on certain products continue to hinder the growth of food imports from the United States,” says USDA. It adds that it is preferable for US companies to partner with Indian importers to help address policy and regulatory obstacles. Exporters must also be prepared to meet the requirements of Indian importers such as mixed shipments and changes in product specifications to meet food laws in India, it adds.

This article was published on January 5, 2015.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Jan 05, 2015 12:00 IST