No demand at all from Bangladesh: official

The volume of export of salt from Tuticorin between April and November 2012 dropped to 1.22 lakh tonnes against 1.37 lakh tonnes during the corresponding period in the previous year. However, salt production showed an upward trend. Production grew by 5.7 per cent between April and November 2012 and reached 16.45 lakh tonnes.During the corresponding period last year, 15.56 lakh tonnes of salt was produced.

V.V. Laxmi, Assistant Salt Commissioner, Tuticorin Division told The Hindu on Tuesday, “Indonesia remains the biggest importer of salt from Tuticorin with business worth 45,000 tonnes so far this fiscal down from 82,175 tonnes last year."

Indonesia tops the list of importers of salt from Tuticorin, followed by Bangladesh with 38, 750 tonnes and Malaysia with 27, 998 tonnes.

“Surprisingly, there was no demand at all from Bangladesh for this edible commodity but the country has seen a surge in importing salt from India this year”, Ms. Laxmi pointed out.

According to T.P.S. Selva Mathan, a Tuticorin salt exporter, the export market was unpredictable. "Now many countries have invested in manufacturing salt and demand was declining,"he said. “Besides, the domestic market has also been slowed by declining value of the commodity.”

Stockpiling of salt resulted in market stagnation. Edible salt could not be marketed competitively despite incurring abnormal production costs, which touched Rs.550 to Rs. 600 per tonne,” said A.R.A.S. Dhanabalan, Secretary, Tuticorin Small Scale Salt Manufacturers Association.