Exports to rise on global seed spices shortage

Written by Commodities Bureau | Kochi | Updated: Jan 3 2009, 03:15am hrs
The global shortage of seed spices due to crop failure has helped India increase its export substantially in the last one year. The limited production of seed spices in the world has resulted in prices flaring up suddenly on supply constraints in the producing regions. India, Syria, Turkey, and Iran are major producers of seed spices. For India, where most of the seed spices are consumed domestically, the global shortage offers lucrative export opportunities. As a result, domestic prices are estimated to be under pressure.

Exports of coriander, cumin, fennel, and fenugreek have grown, in both volume and value, in the last eight months of the current fiscal. Spices like mustard, aniseed, Bishops Weed (Ajwan seed),dill seeds and poppy seeds have collectively registered a growth of 183% in volume and 224% in value, when compared with the performance of the April-November period in 2007.

Exports of coriander seed during April-November 2008 were 18,500 tonne valued at Rs 128.43 crore as against 17,180 tonne valued at Rs 69.09 crore in 2007-08, registering an increase of 86% in value and 8% in quantity. The unit value of export has also gone up from Rs 40.21 per kg in 2007, to Rs 69.42 per kg in 2008. Though cumin is a native of Egypt, it is now mostly produced in India. Apart from India, cumin is produced mainly in Iran, Turkey and Syria. The US, European Union, Middle East, and Southeast Asia are major buyers of Indian cumin seed. With India consuming most of its production, there is not much surplus left to export.