Special Correspondent

KOCHI: Spices export during December 2009 has increased by 5 per cent in dollar terms as compared to the export during December 2008. During December 2009, export of spices from India was 29,850 tonnes valued at Rs.408.06 crore (87.50 million US $) as against 31,375 tonnes valued at Rs. 404.89 crores (83.25 million US $) in December 2008. During December 2009, the spices that have shown substantial increase in export are cardamom (small), chilli, garlic, nutmeg & mace, curry powder and spice oils and oleoresins, said an official release here. During April-December 2009, a total quantity of 3,58,205 tonnes of spices valued at Rs.3,953.74 crore (825.55 million US $) was exported from India as against 3,66,100 tonnes valued at Rs.4,116.31 crore (926.95 million US $) during April-December 2008. Compared to last year, the export has shown a decline of 2 per cent in volume, 4 per cent in rupee value and 11 per cent in dollar terms. The decline in spices export, which was in the range of 20 per cent to 25 per cent during the first two quarters of the financial year, has now come down to 2 per cent to 4 per cent as compared to the corresponding period last year. The major spices exported during the period are chilli, mint products, spice oils & oleoresins, cumin, turmeric, pepper and coriander. The spice oils & oleoresins, including mint products, contributed 34 per cent of the total export earnings. Chilli contributed 23 per cent followed by cumin 10 per cent and turmeric 7 per cent.

During April-December 2009, the export of cardamom small, celery, garlic, nutmeg & mace, curry powder, other seeds and misc. spices are higher in terms of both quantity and value as compared to the same period last year. However, export of spices viz. pepper, cardamom (large), cumin, fennel, fenugreek, vanilla, mint products and spice oils & oleoresins have shown decline both in terms of quantity and value as compared to last year.

During April- December 2009, we have exported 14,750 tonnes of pepper valued at Rs.233.02 crore as against 19,450 tonnes valued at Rs.324.43 crore during the same period of last year. During the period, export of pepper to the US, EU and other major destinations, has declined compared to last year. The economic slowdown in these markets has adversely affected the export of pepper.