Meeting stringent food safety regulations imposed by countries across the globe, Indian spices and spice products surged to a record export growth worth Rs.17,664.61 crore (US$ 2633.30 million) and a volume of 947,790 tonnes in 2016-17, sustaining their robust demand in international markets in face of stiff competition.
The buoyancy in exports of spices and related products, both in terms of value and volume, compares favourably with figures of 843,255 tonnes valued at Rs.16,238.23 crore (US$ 2482.83 million) in 2015-16, thereby registering an increase of 12 percent in volume, nine percent in rupee terms and six percent in dollar terms.
Chilli continued to be the most demanded spice in FY 2016-17 with exports of 400,250 tonnes amounting to Rs 5,070.75 crores, registering an increase of 15 percent in volume and 27 percent in value.
Cumin was the second-most exported spice, recording an increase of 22 percent in volume and 28 percent in value. A total volume of 119,000 tonnes of cumin valued at Rs.1963.20 crore was exported from India in 2016-17. The increase was largely due to the mandatory checks on cumin and its byproducts implemented by the Spices Board in the backdrop of rapid alerts from importing countries.
“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.
Increased global demand for turmeric, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, drove its exports to attain figures of 116,500 tonnes in volume and crossed Rs 1,241 crores in value terms in 2016-17.
Garlic exports contributed substantially to the overall growth during the year, notching figures of 92 percent in value terms and 39 percent in quantity.
The export demand of nutmeg and mace was also on a higher side, registering an increase of 25 percent to 5,070 tonnes, as compared to 4,050 tonnes during 2015-16.
The export of celery rose from 5,310 tonnes valued at Rs 53.28 crore in 2015-16 to 6,250 tonnes worth Rs. 62.46 crore in 2016-17.
Dr Jayathilak said the efforts of Spices Board to promote production of large cardamom, especially in the country’s North Eastern region which is the organic area, led to a rise in its exports by 30 percent in volume and nine percent in value.
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 both in volume and value as compared to 2015-16, contributing substantially to the spices export basket in 2016-17.