Farm exports rise 5% in April-August

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Sep 30, 2018
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Basmati rice, buffalo meat beef up the numbers; sliding rupee is a plus

Farm product exports continued to grow during the first five months of this fiscal on strong overseas demand for products such as basmati rice and buffalo meat, among others.

They were also aided by a weakening rupee.

Total farm exports during April-August this year touched $7.7 billion, a growth of 5 per cent over the corresponding period last year.

In rupee value terms, the growth for the period was 10.28 per cent at ₹51,913 crore (₹47,076 crore in the corresponding period last year), according to the Agricultural and Processed Exports Development Authority (APEDA).

Shipments of basmati rice, the largest product in India’s farm export basket, topped $2 billion for the period, registering a 8.7 per cent growth.

However, the increase in volumes was marginal as shipments stood at 1.85 million tonnes (1.84 mt). The growth in export value is on account of higher unit pricing at $1,088 per tonne ($1,005 per tonne).

Basmati rice accounts for a 26.3 per cent share of India’s total exports. Iran was the largest buyer, accounting for 36 per cent of the shipments in April-August, followed by Saudi Arabia and Iraq.


Volumes down

Similarly, a higher per unit realisation has helped push up exports of buffalo meat in value. Volumes were down at 4.99 lakh tonnes (5.03 lakh tonnes).

Buffalo meat is the second largest product in India’s farm export basket, accounting for 20 per cent of the export earnings. Vietnam, the largest buyer of India’s buffalo meat, accounted for over half (50.6 per cent) of the exports during the period, followed by Malaysia and Indonesia.

Non-basmati rice, however, registered a dip in exports during the period on account of lower volumes of 3.17 mt (3.4 mt). In value terms, non-basmati exports for the period stood at $1.31 billion (1.382 billion). Bangladesh was the largest importer of non-basmati during the period, followed by Senegal and Nepal.

China, the largest buyer of rice, has opened up its market for Indian non-basmati rice and the first shipment was made last week from Nagpur.

Exports of other products that have done well during the period include pulses, processed vegetables, guargum, groundnut and dairy products. Shipments of pulses have more than doubled in volumes during the period to 1.44 lakh tonnes (66,687 tonnes). In value, pulses exports increased by 30 per cent to $131 million.

Dairy products

Dairy product exports have also grown, both in volumes and value, during the period. Their volumes crossed 50,000 tonnes (39,102 tonnes). In value terms, it stood at ₹957 crore.

Though groundnut exports have increased in volumes to 2.01 lakh tonnes (1.57 lakh tonnes), the growth in value at $194 million ($184 million) has not kept pace. The oilseed has suffered a decline to $962 per tonne ($1,167/tonne in the corresponding period last year).

Published on September 30, 2018

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