Commodities

China’s love for Indian hot chillies spices up exports

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on July 19, 2021

Spices exports top $3.5 billion; turmeric, ginger, cardamom shipments also gain

Chilli continued to be the most sought after in the spices export basket, enabling India’s spices shipments to top the $3.5 billion mark in total exports during 2020-21 fiscal. In 2019-20, the figure was $3.03 billion.

China has emerged as the No: 1 export destination for Indian spices over for the last two fiscal, surpassing the US. Sources in the spices export industry told BusinessLine that the dragon nation accounts for a majority of Indian chilli exports as well.

However, the latest export figure of China’s import of Indian chillies is not available as of now, but that country had shipped around 1.4 lakh tonnes in FY 20 from a meagre 10,000 tonnnes in FY 18, the sources said.

An industry expert said that China does not grow red chillies similar to Indian varieties and the varietiessuch as Teja, Sannam, Bydagi are available only in India. Proper blending of these varieties makes it possible to prepare the right compositions for various markets. Indian chilli exporters can export to China with ease. Besides, the reduction of chilli procurement by China from the strife-torn Syria, Turkey and Iran has also boosted the demand for Indian chilies.

Major exporting companies are advocating Integrated Pest Management Practices through backward linkages using good agricultural practices. This gives buyers confidence to import genuine chillies. Demand from Africa, South Asia and West Asia is expected to rise, export industry sources said.

Spices Board figures said that the exports continued to witness an upward trend in FY 21, despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The estimated export of spices and spices products from 2020-21 is 15,65,000 tonnes, valued ₹27,193.20 crore, against 12,08,400 tonnes, valued ₹22,062.80 crore, the previous fiscal.

Total chilli exports in 202-21 were 6,01,500 tonnes valued at ₹8,430 crore, up 21 per cent in quantity and 26 per cent in value. Last year, it was 2,64,500 tonnes worth ₹3,605 crore.

Besides, chilli, other spices that have witnessed a major increase in exports were turmeric, ginger , cardamom and spice seeds such as cumin, fenugreek. Some of this increase in consumption is due to the fact that a number of spices have immunity booster properties which will help in fighting the pandemic, the official sources said.

Cumin was the second-most exported spice, recording an increase of 40 per cent in volume and 26 per cent in value. A total of 2,99,000 tonnes of cumin valued at ₹4,253 crore was exported. Turmeric export was 1,83,000 tonnes in volume for a value of ₹1,675 crore, while ginger stood at 1,25,000 tonnes on a value of ₹756 crore.

Mint products shipments touched 27,400 tonnes in quantity for a value of ₹3,668 crore, while spice and oleoresins stood at 16,450 tonnes valued at ₹3,306 crore.

The Spices Board is on a mission to promote Indian brands in the overseas markets by coordinating with Indian Embassies through various promotion campaigns, industry sources added.

Published on July 19, 2021

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