Karnataka

India’s incense sticks industry expects 15% growth in exports, domestic sales

By the end of fiscal 2021, exports are expected to go up by 15%, as per the All India Agarbathi Manufacturers’ Association (AIAMA), which represents over 800 agarbathi manufacturers.   | Photo Credit: RITU RAJ KONWAR

 

India’s incense sticks (agarbathi) industry, in which Karnataka plays the lead role, is witnessing a significant spike in exports with yoga and ayurveda increasingly becoming popular overseas, especially on account of the COVID-19 pandemic.

India exports incense sticks to over 150 countries. By the end of fiscal 2021, exports are expected to go up by 15%, as per the All India Agarbathi Manufacturers’ Association (AIAMA), which represents over 800 agarbathi manufacturers across the country.

“We are seeing a surge in demand for agarbathis from all over the world. The U.S., U.K., Malaysia, and Nigeria are the top four importers of our products,” Arjun Ranga, president, AIAMA told The Hindu.

The industry has been traditionally growing at a compound annual growth rate of 3.6%, but is now witnessing double-digit growth. India’s agarbathi industry is pegged at ₹8,500 crore of which exports account for ₹1,000 crore.

 

Even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry did not face a major demand contraction. However, production was impacted as factories were closed during the nationwide lockdown and during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are yet to recover from the effects of the second wave, and are hoping that the rest of the year will see renewed consumption. Hopefully, a 15% increase in domestic consumption,” he added.

Commenting on the new and diverse usages of incense sticks, Mr. Ranga said, “The emerging trends in aroma and fragrances are inclined towards oriental, floral and cosmetic notes, such as aqua, lavender, oudh, mogra, rose, champa, lavender, lemon and citronella essential oils.”

 

A woman rolling traditional agarbathis in a village near Mysuru. The agarbathi industry was predominantly (90%) concentrated in Karnataka till 1990 while the remaining 10% contribution came from Tamil Nadu.

A woman rolling traditional agarbathis in a village near Mysuru. The agarbathi industry was predominantly (90%) concentrated in Karnataka till 1990 while the remaining 10% contribution came from Tamil Nadu.  

 

The agarbathi industry was predominantly (90%) concentrated in Karnataka till 1990 while the remaining 10% contribution came from Tamil Nadu. Today, the industry is spread across the country with 50% of the market share jointly held by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The other contributors are Gujarat (20%), Bihar (15%), Maharashtra (10%) and Madhya Pradesh (5%).


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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 4:06:11 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/indias-incense-sticks-industry-expects-15-growth-in-exports-domestic-sales/article36708555.ece

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