A boost to curb a gradually declining trend in salt export

To bolster salt export trade, duty drawback needs to be hiked at any cost. Salt export trade is gradually witnessing a declining trend. Hence, it needs a boost to achieve market certainty, according to B. Prabakaran John, a Tuticorin-based salt export trader.

Though salt production surged ahead over the past years considerably, its export market was uncertain.

“As per Foreign Trade Policy, duty drawback for salt is only one percentage of Free on Board (FOB) value of exports and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry should volunteer to hike the drawback to three or four percentage to flourish this trade through the salt industry,” Mr. John said here on Sunday.

Overseas shipments are normally being made to Korea, Indonesia, African countries, Sri Lanka, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and other countries based on demands.

Bulk consignments of salt to the tune of 26, 020 metric tonnes have been shipped to South Korea in two consecutive days in July, 2013 through logic support of V.O. Chidambaranar Port, Tuticorin.

Korean importers had been diverted from purchasing the large quantities of consignment from Gujarat to Tuticorin, a major contributor of salt production in Tamil Nadu, the second largest producer in India.

On salt export trade, M. Jayabal, Assistant Salt Commissioner (in-charge), Tuticorin, when contacted, said export volume had dipped slightly with a marginal difference of thousand tonnes when compared to records during 2011-12 and the previous fiscal. In 2012-13, export growth slowed with a volume of 1, 54, 000 metric tonnes whereas in 2011-12, a total of 1, 55, 000 tonnes of salt was shipped to countries abroad.

But during 2010-11, salt industry catered to meet higher export demand with a volume of 3,58,000 tonnes.

Salt production is 19.2 lakh tonnes in 2012-13 and over its corresponding previous fiscal, the production level dropped to 18.53 lakh tonnes. With a record of 17.18 lakh tonnes in 2010-11, production plummeted further.