Demand for Indian spices spikes during COVID-19; export rise 34% in June

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the entire world is increasing the use of spices in their healthy meals to improve immunity and ward off the deadly virus. This has resulted in a rise in exports of Indian spices by 23% in dollar terms to $359 million (INR 2,721 crore) in June 2020, compared to $292 million (INR 2,030 crore) in the same month last year. The growth in terms of INR due to forex advantage is 34%, shows a dipstick study by industry body ASSOCHAM

As per the data from the Spices Board of India, India showed a growth of 4% in April-December 2019 and exported 857,400 tonnes of spices, as compared to 825,340 tonnes during the corresponding period in 2018.

In terms of value, the nation enjoyed a growth of 8% by exporting spices worth INR 15,882.20 crore in the same period, from INR 14,665.77 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year.

Traditionally the nation exports, pepper, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, celery, fennel, fenugreek, nutmeg, spice oils and oleoresins and mint products.

The country exports the spice to almost the entire world while some of the main importers are the US, UK, Singapore, Bangladesh, Italy, UAE, Canada, Australia, Iran, France and China.

In the year 2018-19, the biggest buyers of Indian spices were Vietnam (123,673 tonnes), China (93,649 tonnes) and the US (82,204 tonnes).

Recently, the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi addressed that the entire world was focussed on increasing immunity and the immunity ingredients are linked to India, citing increasing spice exports from India.

The ASSOCHAM dipstick study revealed that the increase in spice exports during June is in contrast to a decline of 12.41 per cent in the country’s overall merchandise export basket during this period.

 “The Prime Minister noticed how demand for spices, of which India is among the main producers, is increasing as more and more people rush to strengthen immunity. Thanks to the efforts of the AYUSH Ministry and traditional knowledge about spices being a strong immunity builder, an increasing number of Indians are taking to higher consumption of spices,” said Deepak Sood, General Secretary, ASSOCHAM.

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