Agri Business

Pulwama attack hits India’s dried coconut exports to Pakistan

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on August 18, 2020

Exports fell to ₹119 crore (quantity: 10,504 tonnes), compared to around ₹200 crore (16,788 tonnes) in 2018-19

India’s dried coconut exports to Pakistan has taken a hit in fiscal 2019-20 following the strained diplomatic relations between the two countries after the Pulwama attack.

Exports were down at ₹119 crore on quantity of 10,504 tonnes, compared to around ₹200 crore and 16,788 tonnes in 2018-19.

Pakistan has been a major market for Indian dried coconuts. However, there were hardly any exports in 2019-20 following the suspension of Indian consignments, highly placed sources in the sector said.

The import of dry coconut to Iran, the second-largest importer after Pakistan, has also slowed down during the period. Normally, dried coconut too finds its way to Pakistan from Iran, but the US-Iran stand-off has affected exports from India to the Islamic republic.

Malaysia, Afghanistan and the UK are the major importers of dried coconut from India, the sources added.

However, official sources in the Coconut Development Board (CDB) pointed out that the latest data on dried coconut exports for the first quarter of the current fiscal is yet to be compiled by the Director General Commercial Intelligence & Statistics.

Likewise, India’s coconut exports registered a 14 per cent dip in 2019-20 at ₹1,762.17 crore vis-a-vis ₹2,045.36 crore in 2018-19.

The official sources attributed the decline to the Covid-19 pandemic affecting shipments in the fourth quarter. Higher domestic prices of raw nuts also contributed to the decline in exports. Currently, prices of nuts in international markets are ruling at nearly two times lower than in the domestic prices.

Export of activated carbon has also declined at ₹1,185 crore from ₹1,344 crore. The US is the major market for activated carbon; issues related to transportation of the cargo are turning into impediments.

However, import of coconut products has posted a 34 per cent rise in 2019-20 at ₹597.58 crore, with the big item in the basket being coconut expeller cake, a major requirement in cattle feed production.

Desiccated coconut (DC) powder imports have also gone up to ₹179 crore from ₹52 crore in the previous year, mainly due to South East Asian FTA. The government has come out with a minimum import price for DC imports, following the concerns raised by the stakeholders in the industry as well as the intervention of the board.

On the production front, CDB officials said that the introduction of schemes to improve productivity has yielded results in many states, resulting in an increase of 20 million nuts nationally. The second estimate from the Agriculture Ministry showed that production was 21,308.41 million nuts in 2019-20, against 21,288.24 million nuts in 2018-19. A steady, stable and remunerative price has encouraged farmers to take up coconut farming.

Table:

Export figures:

Sl.No.

Item

2018-19

2019-20

Quantity (MT)

Value (₹ in Crore)

Quantity (MT)

Value (₹ in Crore)

1

Activated carbon

97,050.21

1,344.11

103,071.38

1,184.60

2

Coconut oil

6,814.45

136.72

7,870.24

141.70

3

Dry coconut

167,87.74

199.94

10,504.08

119.23

4

Desiccated coconut

1,638.18

14.20

1,438.85

11.77

5

Fresh/ Frozen/ Grated Coconut

34,712.21

179.29

29,042.54

160.59

6

Copra

2,204.06

34.51

2,333.48

36.14

7

Shell charcoal

54,721.00

54.14

9,597.00

34.62

8

Misc. coconut products

28,489.92

82.45

73.52

Total

2045.36

1762.17

Source : DGCIS, Kolkata

Published on August 18, 2020

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