India’s spice export rises 20% over April-Dec 2017

India has been able to sustain the demand for its trademark spices in international markets in the face of stiff competition and stringent food safety regulations that now define the international commodity trade

April 23, 2018

India’s spice export rose by around 20 per cent to 797,145 tonnes during the first nine months of financial year 2017-18 spanning April to December; Meanwhile, the revenue from the supply increased by 9 per cent to US$2 billion

Chilli was the largest exported spice at 353,400 tonnes with valuation of US$488 million; Cumin ranked as the second-highest exported product during the period, marking a rise of 15 per cent in volume and 19 per cent in valuation

Export of value added spice products such as processed items, powders, oils and oleoresins also reported rise in volume and valuation; Spice Board is responsible for export promotion of 52 scheduled spices and development of Cardamom

Total spices export from India stood at 947,790 tonnes with valuation of US$2.6 billion during 2016-17; Major importers of Indian spices are the USA, China, Vietnam, UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the UK, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, and Germany

India’s spice export rose by around 20 per cent to 797,145 tonnes during the first nine months of financial year 2017-18 spanning April to December. Meanwhile, the revenue from the supply increased by 9 per cent to US$2 billion. India’s spice production and its global trade, one of the country’s leading trading commodities, is managed by the Spices Board, a unit of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The chairman of the Spice Board, A Jayathilak, said that India has been able to sustain the demand for its famed spices in international markets despite stiff competition and stringent food safety regulations that now dictate the international commodity trade. Mr Jayathilak added that a drop in prices of certain during the period products was due to volatility in international spices trade.

Global competition has pressured the pricing of certain products such as chilli even as their export volume increased. Indian spices have become a trusted global brand. Chilli, a variety of which India produces and supplies, was the largest exported spice during the period at 353,400 tonnes with valuation of US$488 million. Cumin, another popular spice variety, ranked as the second-highest exported product during the period, marking a rise of 15 per cent in volume and 19 per cent in valuation. Meanwhile, small cardamom, popular as the “Queen of Spices” recorded the highest rise in export n both parameters – 44 per cent in volume and 53 per cent valuation – from a year earlier. Apart from these, garlic, asafoetida, tamarind, mustard and other seeds saw increase in sales.

Export of value added spice products such as processed items, powders, oils and oleoresins also reported rise in volume as well as valuation. Spice Board is responsible for export promotion of 52 scheduled spices and development of Cardamom. India’s spice trade dates back thousands of years with the allure of the region’s rich produce launching marine expeditions and from Western Europe as well as far East. Today, Indian spices are still the most sought-after globally, given their exquisite aroma, texture, taste and medicinal value. India is the world’s largest producer, consumer and exporter of spices; the country produces about 75 of the 109 varieties listed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and accounts for half of the global trading in spices.

Top spices produced in the country include pepper, cardamom, chilli, ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, celery, fennel, fenugreek, ajwain, dill seed, garlic, tamarind, clove, and nutmeg among others. Total spices export from India stood at 947,790 tonnes with valuation of US$2.6 billion during financial year 2016-17, registering a year-on-year growth of 6 per cent in valuation. Major importers of Indian spices are the USA, China, Vietnam, the UAE, Indonesia, Malaysia, the UK, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, and Germany.