A farm worker picks table grapes in Maricopa, California, the United States, July 24, 2015. (REUTERS Photo)
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- Exports of California table grapes to China have dropped around 40 percent since China was forced to retaliate by imposing extra tariffs on U.S. productions in mid June, a local newspaper reported on Saturday.
The Sierra Sun Times, the only daily updated online newspaper in Mariposa county, a major table grape plant area in Central California, reported the huge declines Saturday with the newest data released by the California Farm Bureau Federation last week.
Meanwhile, local growers estimated that the prices of table grapes have fallen as much as 40 percent from a year ago, the California-based Bakersfield.com news site reported early this month.
The China-U.S. trade frictions, ignited by the White House despite of strong opposition and criticism across the world, will harm the two countries' economies as well as the global growth.
Trade tariffs may cost U.S. table grapes exports 83 million U.S. dollars based on 3.2 percent of total production exported to affected markets, including the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and others, according to a report from the University of California, Davis (UCD) in August.
Typically, more than one-third of the Golden State's table grape production is exported, and shippers have been seeking new markets for the grapes, reported the Sierra Sun Times.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the purchase of 48.2 million dollars worth of grapes. However, industry sources said the government's plan would be far short of covering the full amount of losses incurred by tariffs and lost export markets, especially when considering the long-term impact.