Exports of agricultural and processed food products rose by 9% to $ 23.1 billion during the first 11 months of the current fiscal (2022-23) compared to the same period last year, driven by shipments of rice, fruits, and vegetables, livestock and dairy products.
According to the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics, rice exports during April-February (2022-23) rose by more than 16% on year to a record $ 10 billion from $ 8.6 billion in the previous year.
“The value of rice shipment is likely to cross $ 11 billion in the current fiscal while volume of grain shipment would be around 21 million tonne (MT), at the same level as last year,” V Krishna Rao, president, Rice Exporters Association, told FE. He said the global demand has been robust this fiscal despite India imposing export taxes on certain varieties of rice shipments. In FY22, India, which has around 45% share in global rice trade, exported rice valued at $ 9.6 billion. India has been the world’s largest exporter of rice in the last decade.
In September, India had imposed a ban on broken rice exports and put a 20% export tariff on the non-basmati and non-parboiled rice, a measure aimed at improving domestic supplies, because of expectation of a decline in production in 2022-23 crop season (July-June). However, the agriculture ministry last month estimated rice production for the 2022-23 crop season at a record 130.8 MT. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its February 2023 crop outlook has stated “India remains the most competitively-priced source for Asian rice”. India’s broken-kernel rice was quoted at $ 435/tonne last month.
“Robust global demand and competitive pricing have ensured surge in rice exports in the current fiscal and adherence to quality parameters has resulted in sharp increase in demand for Indian rice, with the grain being shipped to more than 75 countries,” M Angamuthu, chairman, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Development Authority (APEDA), a body affiliated to the commerce ministry, told FE.
Fresh and processed fruits and vegetables reported export growth of 11% to $ 2.8 billion in April-February 2022-23, on year. The shipment of cereals, preparations and processed food products rose by 16% $ 2.3 billion in the first 11 months of the current fiscal compared to the previous year.
The export of meat, dairy and poultry products declined marginally compared to last year at $ 3.6 billion during the April-February period of the current fiscal,l compared to the previous year.
For the current fiscal, an export target of $ 23.5 billion has been set by APEDA. Other key agricultural products exported from the country include marine products, spices, tea, coffee and tobacco.
Exports of products under the APEDA basket were at $ 25.6 billion in 2021-22, which was around 51% of the country’s total agricultural goods exports of more than $ 50 billion. The rest of the agricultural products exports include marine, tobacco, coffee and tea.
Commerce ministry officials say the rise in the export of agricultural and processed food products has also been due to the government’s initiatives such as organising B2B exhibitions in various countries, tie-ups with global hypermarket chains, exploring new markets through product-specific marketing campaigns by the active involvement of Indian missions.