Exports of Indian spices and spice products surged to a record growth in 2016-17, touching 9,47,790 tonne, valued at Rs 17,664.61 crore ($2,633.30 million), thereby registering an increase of 12% in volume, 9% in rupee terms and 6% in dollar terms , officials of the state-run Spices Board said. During the previous fiscal 2015-16, exports stood at 8,43,255 tonnes, valued at Rs 16,238.23 crore ($2,482.83 million). Chilli continued to be the most demanded spice in FY17 with exports of 4,00,250 tonnes amounting to Rs 5,070.75 crore, registering an increase of 15% in volume and 27% in value. Cumin was the second-most exported spice, recording an increase of 22% in volume and 28% in value. A total volume of 1,19,000 tonnes of cumin valued at Rs 1,963.20 crore 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.
“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,” Spices Board chairman A Jayathilak said.
Increased global demand for turmeric, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, drove its exports to attain figures of 1,16,500 tonne in volume and crossed Rs 1,241 crore in value terms in 2016-17. The spice which showed the maximum increase as compared to the previous financial year was fennel, registering a 129% increase in volume and 79% hike in value. Garlic exports contributed substantially to the overall growth during the year, notching figures of 92% in value terms and 39% in quantity. The export demand of nutmeg and mace was also on a higher side, registering an increase of 25% to 5,070 tonne, as compared to 4,050 tonne during 2015-16. The export of celery rose from 5,310 tonne, valued at Rs 53.28 crore in 2015-16 to 6,250 tonne worth Rs 62.46 crore in 2016-17. 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 by default, led to a rise in its exports by 30% in volume and 9% in value.