'Spice exports likely to go up in coming months'

In August this year, India’s overall spice exports declined by 8.7% to $205.25 million from $229.20 million in August 2014.

Deepak Kumar  | The Dollar Business

Despite a recent decline in India’s spice exports, the spice industry is hopeful that the production will increase in coming months leading to a rise in the international shipment. “Last month, the industry was disappointed with the export figure. Our domestic production has also fallen due to unseasonal rain and a disease outbreak in some spice producing areas. We have developed certain types of spice seeds to ensure its growth amidst inhospitable weather. We are looking at better days ahead for its overall production and exports,” Balraj Singh, Director of the Indian Society of Seed Spices, told the Dollar Business. In August this year, India’s overall spice exports declined by 8.7% to $205.25 million from $229.20 million registered in August 2014. “Exports have been affected by several major factors. Decline in global prices, increase in spices production in Vietnam, Madagascar and several other countries, and high production cost have led to its decline in recent months,” another industry expert told the Dollar Business. During the previous fiscal, Indian spices and spice products exports went up by 8% in value terms to Rs. 15,000 crore ($2.4 billion) and 9% increase in volume terms to 8.93 Lakh tonnes. In 2013-14, the country exported 8.17 lakh tonnes of spices worth about Rs.13,735 crore ($2.26 billion). The total export exceeded the projected target of 7.55 lakh tonnes worth Rs. 12.3 crore ($2 billion) for the financial year 2014-15. “India is the world’s largest producer of spice, accounting for over 70% of the global spice production. About 90% of the total produced spices are consumed within the country, while remaining 10% is exported to various other nations. There hasn’t been any significant change in terms of export quantity. Its export value has declined, majorly due to the fall in global prices,” Singh said. In the first quarter of 2015-16, spice exports increased by 30% to Rs 3,976.65 crore ($626.81 million), as against Rs 3,059.74 crore ($511.22 million) during the same period last year. In terms of volume, spices exports increased by 1% to 2.15 lakh tonnes over 2.13 lakh tonnes during the corresponding period last year. “Despite the industry’s recent growth, India’s total spices production has been static. Other countries including China, Bangladesh and Vietnam have been focusing on increasing their overall spices production,” the expert said.