Poor Crop Abroad Props Up Spice Exports

Kochi, July 25 | Updated: Jul 26 2004, 05:55am hrs
Spice exports were up both in volume and value during the first quarter of the fiscal, mainly owing to poor crop abroad which forced several importing countries to look at the Indian market.

Volume-wise exports more than doubled to 1,03,409 tonnes compared to 50,656 tonnes during the corresponding period last year. In value terms, it was up by Rs 172.55 crore to Rs 585.13 crore from Rs 412.58 crore.

As per figures from the Spices Board, chilli continued to top the list of items both in volume. A total 39,000 tonnes worth Rs 141.49 crore was exported which was 52 per cent of the total targeted export for the year.

The change in quantity was 184 per cent above last year and the value up by 140 per cent. The increase in chilli exports has been attributed mainly to the poor crop in China.

Similarly, commodities like coriander, cumin, fennel and fenugreek reported good exports owing to poor crop in competing countries, according to spice exporters.

The other commodities to have performed well coriander whose export was up 500 per cent to 15,000 tonnes earning Rs 33.64 crore compared to Rs 9.87 crore the same period last year. A total 3,050 tonnes fennel was exported earning Rs 9.91 crore compared to 875 tonnes worth Rs 4.09 crore last year. Cardamom, turmeric, cumin, clelry, fenugreek, other seeds, vanilla and mint products saw a rise in both in terms of quantity and volume.

Similarly, curry powder/paste and condiments exports were up indicating that there was good demand for value-added spices.

In the case of hotstuff vanilla, exports were up by 17 per cent in volume and 28 per cent in value. A total 8.66 tonnes were exported worth Rs 18.3 crore compared to last years 5.71 tonnes worth Rs 5.89 crore.

However, pepper which once topped the countrys spice export basket continued its fall. This quarter 130 tonnes worth Rs 4.93 crore were exported compared to 100 tonnes worth Rs 5.42 crore last year. The pressure from competing countries like Vietnam was showing on the price front too. Other commodities that performed poorly were ginger, garlic and nutmeg. Several commodities crossed the 50 per cent target fixed for the whole year. Besides chilli, others in the list included coriander (83 per cent), fennel (61), fenugreek (52) and other seeds (54).