India continues to be the most prolific exporter of spices with a record 11 pc rise in volume and a substantial rise in value in 2016-17.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry in India has recently divulged the figures of spice exports from India raking up to USD 2.63 billion (EUR 2.35 billion) in value. While chilli remained the most demanded spice, cumin followed the ranks in terms of international market demands. Meeting the stringent food safety regulations imposed by countries across the globe, Indian spices and spice products surged to a record export growth, both in terms of value and volume, sustaining the robust demand and stiff competition, a release from the ministry outlines.
The rise in volume from 843,255 tonnes in 2015-16 to 947,790 tonnes in 2016-17 is more than 11 pc. The rise in the value of the spice exports from India is nine pc in terms of Indian Rupee and 6 pc in terms of US dollars.
“India has surpassed all previous export records and has fulfilled the increasing international demand for its quality spices in the face of tough competition in global markets. More satisfying was the fact that the appreciable increase in exports came in the face of strict food safety regulations that now define and determine the international commodity trade,” said Spices Board chairman Dr A Jayathilak.
Chilli continued to be the most demanded spice in 2016-17 with exports of 400,250 tonnes amounting to INR 50.71 billion (EUR 70.33 million), registering an increase of 15 pc in volume and 27 pc in value.
Cumin was the second largest exported spice from India, recording an increase of 22 pc in volume and 28 pc in value. A total volume of 119,000 tonnes of cumin valued at INR 19.63 billion (EUR 27.23 million) was exported from India in 2016-17. The increase was largely due to the mandatory checks on cumin and its by-products implemented by the Spices Board in the backdrop of rapid alerts from importing countries.
Quite interestingly, the spice that showed the maximum increase as compared to the previous financial year was fennel, registering a 129 pc increase in volume and 79 pc in value.
Increased global demand for turmeric, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, drove its exports to attain figures of 116,500 tonnes in volume and crossed INR 12.41 billion in value.
Garlic exports contributed substantially to the overall growth during the year, notching figures of 92 pc in value terms and 39 pc in quantity.
The export demand of nutmeg and mace was also on a higher side, registering an increase of 25 pc to 5,070 tonnes, as compared to 4,050 tonnes during 2015-16.
The export of celery rose from 5,310 tonnes valued at INR 532.8 million in 2015-16 to 6,250 tonnes worth INR 624.6 million in 2016-17.
During 2016-17, Indian spices & spice products reached over 145 destinations in the world including USA, Vietnam, China, UK, Germany & more.
— SPICES BOARD (@Spices_Board) June 14, 2017
A shift in dietary preferences from conventional spices to processed and value-added spices was evident in the spice export statistics, which exhibited an increase in both volume and value as compared to 2015-16, contributing substantially to the spices export basket in 2016-17.
Dr Jayathilak in a statement to the press said that the efforts of Spices Board to promote the production of large cardamom, especially in the country’s north-eastern region that is the organic area by default, led to a rise in its exports by 30 pc in volume and nine pc in value.