India’s spice exports take a hit, volume falls in FY 16

The nation is the world’s leading producer, consumer and exporter of spices. So it is not surprising that India accounts for about half of the global trading in spices. Of the 109 varieties listed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), India produces around 75 varieties.  So India clearly holds an enviable position in the global spice market.

India’s spice exports statistics, however, tell us another story. India exported 843,255 tonne of spices worth Rs 16,238.22 crore in FY16. In the previous financial year, the Asian nation exported 893,920 tonne worth around Rs 4899.67 crore in FY15. A quick look at the numbers and you know that despite a substantial increase in numbers there has been a 6% drop in volume. The increase can be attributed to a boost in value and dollar realisation. From $2,432.84 million in FY15, dollar realization went up by 2% to $ 2,482.83 million in FY16.

In the spice export basket, exports such as mint products (mint oils, menthol and menthol crystals), cumin, coriander, ginger and cardamom registered a fall in terms of volume.

While the value of chilli exports saw an increase of 12% from Rs 3,517.1 crore in FY 15 to R3,931.7 crore in FY16, the exports remained flat. There was only a marginal increase, from 347,000 tonne in the previous year to 347,500 tonne in FY 16. A worrying development since India is the largest producer of chilli preceding China and Pakistan. The Asian national allegedly accounts for 45% of the global output, with a yearly production of 12-14 lakh tonne.

The scenario for mint products exports is also similar. The decline is, however, more significant with 18% fall in terms of volume and 4% in value (y-o-y). 21,150 tonne of mint products valued at Rs 2,577.59 were exported in FY16. In the previous year, the Asian nation exported 25,750 tonne mint products worth Rs 2,689.25 crore in FY15.

As per the Kerala Spices board, India leads when it comes to the production of mint oils. The country also exports about 80% of its produce. Major chunk of the exports is in the form of crystallised menthol. China imports crystallised menthol and re-exports the same post value addition.

Ginger exports also registered a fall in exports both in terms of value and volume. 18% and 39% respectively. 24,800 tonne of ginger worth Rs 270.82 crore was exported in FY 16.

Should the Commerce Ministry and Spice board join forces to boost spice exports in the current financial year? Let us by leaving comments below.

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