Exporters of groundnut and sesame seeds have urged the Union government to provide 10% incentive under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) to boost the export to China and the European Union (EU).
Exporters of groundnut and sesame seeds have urged the Union government to provide 10% incentive under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) to boost the export to China and the European Union (EU). According to the Indian Oilseeds & Produce Export Promotion Council (IOPEPC), China and EU are among the most important world markets for oilseeds. Despite India being one of the largest exporters for groundnuts and sesame seeds, its exports to China is minimal.
While the total groundnut imports by China is about 2,90,000 tonne, India’s share was only 627 tonne in 2017-18. Similarly, overall imports of sesame seed into China is about 800,000–850,000 tonne and India’s share during 2017-18 was only 6,199 tonne. Overall imports of groundnuts by EU is about 8 lakh tonne, with India exporting only 15,000 tonne, accounting for a share of less than 2%. The competitive edge of Indian oilseed exports is blunted by zero duty access provided to exports from African countries by China.
“There is a huge potential of about Rs 3,000 crore for export of groundnut to China only if the government will give export incentive to exporters. While groundnut exports from India have gone down, we need to take some concrete action. The council has sought higher sops under MEIS for the exports of groundnut, groundnut oil and sesame seed to China to offset duty disadvantages. Similarly, the higher incentives would support our groundnut and sesame seed exports to EU,” said Sanjay Shah, chairman, IOPEPC.
According to the council data, oilseeds export during 2017-18 was worth Rs 7,647 crore, against Rs 9,177 crore during 2016-17. Groundnut and sesame seed are the two most important ones in the basket of oilseed exports from India accounting for about 80% share. Exports of groundnut decreased from Rs 5,444 crore in 2016-17 to Rs 3,384 crore. In quantitative terms, the fall was steeper, from 7.25 lakh tonne in 2016-17 to 5.03 lakh tonne in 2017-18.
Gujarat is the main producer of both the crops. A few days ago, Saurashtra Oil Mills Association (Soma) also wrote to the central government to provide 10% incentive on the export of groundnut and groundnut de oiled cake. Sameer Shah, president of Soma, said, “India has potential to export about 50,000 tonne of groundnut de oiled cake, which is currently only 5,000 tonne.
The reason behind it is that our exporters cannot compete with other countries on the price front. This issue is directly impacting us as oil millers are the only source for oil meals which is the basic raw material of de-oiled cake. Incentive will encourage the exports of groundnut de-oiled cake and this benefits the entire associate industries.”