Timing for India’s Tariff Reduction on Almonds ‘Couldn’t Be Better’

Brian GermanAlmonds, Industry, Nuts & Grapes, Trade

After the announcement back in June regarding a tariff reduction for U.S. almonds, Indian officials have made good on their commitment. As of September 6, the tariff rate has been brought back down to 35 rupees per kilogram on inshell and 100 rupees per kilogram on kernels, according to the Almond Board of California. A 20 percent retaliatory tariff on U.S. almonds had been in place since 2019. President and CEO of the Almond Alliance, Aubrey Bettencourt said the removal of the tariffs is an encouraging sign for the industry.

Tariff Reduction

“Having the tariff reduction coming at this time couldn’t be better,” said Bettencourt. “Obviously, there’s a lot of legwork to be done. But to have these handcuffs taken off, with regards to the ability to get product into our largest market and the largest overseas consumer of almonds, we’re really looking forward to having that as a boon to the industry and to the market as we look to push product out and get our recovery as an industry underway.”

The increased tariff rates for almonds exported to India had been 41 rupees per kilogram on inshell and 120 rupees per kilogram on kernels. Increased tariffs had been enacted in response to several actions of the Trump administration, which included tariffs on steel and aluminum. The tariff reduction offers some positive momentum to the almond industry, which has been navigating a variety of challenges in recent years.

Bettencourt explained that the increased tariffs were part of a larger set of industry headwinds. Challenges with the pre-pandemic tariffs were compounded by supply chain disruptions, which contributed to the high carry-in numbers the industry has been dealing with. The end of the increased tariffs and improving supply chain conditions should set the almond industry up for more success moving forward. “We actually preempted the announcement of the India tariff reduction by working with our shipping line partners to get them to reopen certain shipping lines to India in advance of that, off of the West Coast,” Bettencourt noted.

Brian German
Ag News Director / AgNet West