Agri Business

Exports of farm produce take a beating in Q1 due to weak demand

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on August 15, 2019 Published on August 15, 2019

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The total exports of Apeda’s product basket dropped by around 14 per cent at $4.157 billion during April-June this year


Exports of farm produce have suffered a setback in the first quarter of the current financial year due to weak demand and decline in price realisations for majority of the products, including basmati rice and guargum. However, some categories such as processed vegetables, fruits and meat showed a positive growth.

The total exports of Apeda’s product basket dropped by around 14 per cent at $4.157 billion during April-June this year against $4.829 in the corresponding quarter last year. In rupee terms, the overall exports declined to ₹2,8910 crore from ₹3,2341 crore in the same quarter last year.


Basmat rice, the flagship product, which accounted for over 30 per cent of the total export value in June quarter, saw a 2.3 decline in dollar terms. This is mainly on account of lower volumes at 11.56 lakh tonnes compared with 11.73 lakh tonnes in the corresponding quarter last year. Also, a drop in per unit price at $1,085 per tonne ($1,095 per tonne in Q1 last fiscal) impacted the dollar realisations. However, in rupee terms, the basmati exports showed a 1.3 per cent improvement at ₹8,728crore (₹8,610 crore). A weakening trend in local currency against the dollar aided the rupee realisations.

In case of non-basmati rice, the decline was sharper as Indian exporters faced stiff competition from competitors such as China, Vietnam and Thailand in the major market of Africa. Non-basmati volumes slumped 43 per cent to 11.94 lakh tonnes from 21 lakh tonnes in the corresponding last quarter. In dollar value terms, the decline was 46 per cent at $486 million, while in rupee terms it was 44 per cent at ₹3,379 crore. Non-basmati rice accounted for around 12 per cent of the overall farm exports during the quarter.

Buffalo meat volumes also saw a decline during the quarter at 2.75 lakh tonnes (2.76 lakh tonnes), mainly due to weak demand from Vietnam. Realisations from buffalo meat fell 6.6 per cent to $786 million. Lower per unit price of $2,854 per tonne also contributed to the dip in realisation.

Other products such as fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, pulses, dairy products, poultry products, guargum and wheat saw a decline during the quarter. Shipments of pulses more than halved at $41 million ($94 million), while the decline in dairy products was marginal at $93 million ($96 million).

Shipments of floriculture, processed vegetables, processed fruits and meat, animal casings and cocoa products saw an increase during the quarter. However, in value terms these categories account for a fraction of the overall shipments.

Published on August 15, 2019
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