Agri Business

Govt raises minimum import price for arecanuts

Our Bureaus New Delhi/Mangaluru | Updated on January 24, 2018

Stakeholders relieved as move will check increased imports from Bangladesh





The government has raised the minimum import price (MIP) for areca nuts by more than a third (38 per cent) to shield domestic growers against a surge in imports from neighbouring countries, such as Bangladesh and Nepal.

The MIP has been raised to ₹162 a kg from ₹110 with immediate effect, a Commerce & Industry Ministry release said.

SAFTA pact issues

According to the government, imports from India’s South Asian neighbours have shot up as import duties are low under the South Asia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) pact.

“The government has received representations from various representatives of areca nuts industry against unabated import of the nuts from neighbouring countries that have taken advantage of low import duty provided under SAFTA,” the release said.

Arecanut is grown in Karnataka, Kerala, West Bengal, Assam among other States.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has also advised its field offices to stringently adhere to the quality specifications of areca nuts before clearing import consignments.

Industry welcomes

Meanwhile, the move to increase minimum import price has come as a relief to the stakeholders in the arecanut sector.

Welcoming this move of the Government, K Padmanabha, President of the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco) Ltd, told BusinessLine that the MIP will help stabilise the arecanut market in the country.

A major portion of the commodity was imported from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, he said.

Quoting the recent developments in the arecanut market, Padmanabha said the price of red variety of arecanut had come down from ₹420 a kg to ₹335 in the last one-and-a-half months.

Srinivasa Achar, President, All-India Arecanut Growers’ Association, said that the country produces around 5.5 lakh tonnes of arecanut a year. Karnataka produces around 40 per cent of the country’s production.

Import data

In a recent reply to the Dakshina Kannada MP, Nalin Kumar Kateel, in Lok Sabha, the Commerce Ministry said that the country imported 73,953 tonnes of arecanut in 2011-12; 99,701 tonnes in 2012-13 and 80,478 tonnes in 2013-14.

According to the provisional figures available for April-December of 2014-15, the country imported 79,005 tonnes of arecanut. A major portion of this came from Bangladesh (32,680 tonnes) and Sri Lanka (24,848 tonnes).

On Wednesday, the price of old stocks of white arecanut stood at ₹348 a kg and new stocks of white arecanut at ₹248 in Mangalore APMC.

Published on June 03, 2015

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