The larva was found Dec. 20, according to Taiwan’s Bureau of Animal and Plant Health In-spection.

The bureau had previously found codling moths in three separate shipments Sept. 1, Oct. 7 and Oct. 14. The last two discoveries were counted as one incident.

The suspension comes almost exactly two years after Taiwan had suspended shipments of apples from the U.S. after another codling moth discovery.

The two countries signed an agreement after that incident, wherein the U.S. would be re-quired to suspend its apple exports to Taiwan if codling moths were found three times in apple shipments within a year.

The suspension hits Washington particularly hard, since Taiwan is that state’s top export market, said Dave Carlson, president of the Wenatchee-based Washington Apple Committee.

The state had shipped about 2 million 42-pound boxes of apples, worth about $30 million, to Taiwan last season and about 1.5 million boxes so far this year, Carlson said, adding that Taiwan takes primarily large fujis.

Promotions in Taiwan will continue because there is still plenty fruit either already in the island country or is bound there, Carlson said, noting that shipments currently en route to Taiwan would be allowed in, although it would undergo intense scrutiny.

Washington shippers note that Taiwanese protocols against codling moths are particularly stringent because apples and pears are grown domestically, and the pest can cause extensive damage to them.

“In a nutshell, three strikes and we’re out,” said Greg Kenyon, Asian/Middle East director for Chelan Fresh Marketing, Chelan, Wash.

REOPENING UNLIKELY

He said that he doesn’t hold much hope for reopening Taiwan before the end of the ship-ping season.

“Because of the situation that most of the shippers are in, as far as the volume of fruit that needs to go to Taiwan and the volume of fruit that can be sold on the domestic market, many of us are in a desperate situation, including myself,” Kenyon said.

Nancy Foster, president of the Vienna, Va.-based U.S. Apple Association, said that reopen-ing the market in time for the Chinese New Year, which commences Feb. 9, remained ques-tionable.

“I do know that APHIS will be doing their investigation, and once the investigation is done, there could be means taken to address this, if the market can be opened,” Foster said. “But it all goes back to the fact that it’s a two-party negotiation. The U.S. clearly wants to reopen this market, and we know Taiwan wants our apples. Chinese New Year is coming up, and our apples play a major role in that holiday period.”

Kenton Kidd, president of the Fresno-based California Apple Commission, said the ban won’t affect the crop from his state, which was allowed into Taiwan for the first time this year.

“We have somewhere between 400,000 and 500,000 boxes, which is not a tremendous amount, but it really helps us on the size of the crop we’ve got,” he said. “The problem is, we’ve tried so hard to be so careful, because this jeopardizes everyone. It’s too bad that they don’t close each state instead of all the United States.”