Asserting their prominence and sustained demand in international markets, Indian spices and spice products surged to an appreciable export growth worth Rs. 13,167.89 crore and a volume of 797,145 tonnes during April-December 2017 as against 663,247 tonnes valued at Rs. 12607.46 crores in the corresponding period of 2016, registering an increase of 20% in volume and 4% in rupee terms.
In dollar terms, spices exports were pegged at US$ 2041.23 million as compared to US$ 1880.02 million, notching an increase of nine per cent in value. Large shipments of small cardamom, known as the ‘Queen of Spices’, cumin, garlic, asafoetida, tamarind and other seeds (ajwain or Bishop’s weed, mustard, dill and poppy seed) propelled an increase both in volume and value, thus contributing substantially to spice export basket and earning precious forex for the country.
The export of value added products like curry powder, mint products, spice oils and oleoresins also increased in volume and value while the export of chilli, coriander, fennel and nutmeg and mace registered an increase in terms of volume only.
“India has been able to sustain the demand for its trademark spices in international markets in the face of stiff competition and stringent food safety regulations that now define the international commodity trade,” said Spices Board Chairman Dr A. Jayathilak.
He noted that exports of spices like chilli showed a decrease in value despite increase in export volumes. “This has happened because of volatility in international spices trade. The fact is Indian spices have become a trusted global brand, but there is an imperative need to give a huge impetus to value added products and sustain their quality and flavour.”
By exporting 353,400 tonnes, chilli earned Rs 3241.83 crore in April-December 2017 as against 260,250 tonnes and Rs 3460.83 crore, respectively during the same period in 2016. Cumin was the second-most exported spice, recording an increase of 15% in volume and 19% in value. A total volume of 104,260 tonnes of cumin fetched Rs.1761.70 crore as against Rs.1480.79 crores and 91,024 tonnes.
But it was small cardamom that registered maximum export growth both in terms of value and volume during the period. A total of 4,180 tonnes of this spice, valued at Rs.456.01 crores, was exported during April-December 2017 as against 2,910 tonnes worth Rs.297.80 crores during the corresponding period in 2016, registering an increase of 44% in volume and 53% in value.
Mint products accounted for 16,500 tonnes in volume and Rs. 2220.36 crores in value as compared to 14,850 tonnes and Rs.1645.55 crores in 2016, registering an increase of 11% in volume and 35% in value, respectively. Garlic also chipped in substantially with a total volume of 37,830 tonnes valued at Rs.255.58 crores as against 19,729 tonnes and Rs.196.06 crores, respectively in the first three quarters of FY 2016-17, registering an increase of 92% in volume and 30% in value.
As for value added products, the export of curry powder/paste was 25,200 tonnes worth Rs.517.52 crore as against 23,027 tonnes valued at Rs.468.35 crores, registering an increase of 9% in volume and 10% in value. During the period, 12,700 tonnes of spice oils and oleoresins valued Rs. 1873.22 crores were exported as against 9,251 tonnes and Rs.1695.17 crores, respectively in April-December 2016, marking an increase of 37% in volume and 11% in value.
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