This is mainly because of decline in shipments of major exportable items such as rice, buffalo meat and guargum in 2015-16. However, for a second year in a row, exports of buffalo meat exceeded that of Basmati rice.
India’s agricultural and processed food exports fell by close to 20% in the last fiscal compared with FY15. This is mainly because of decline in shipments of major exportable items such as rice, buffalo meat and guargum in 2015-16. However, for a second year in a row, exports of buffalo meat exceeded that of Basmati rice.
According to data from the Agricultural and Processed Food Products and Export Development Authority (Apeda), the value of agri-product exports fell to R1.05 lakh crore in FY16 against R1.31 lakh crore reported in FY15. “The fall in shipments is mainly because of lower global commodity prices and sluggish demand abroad,” an official said.
Exports of buffalo meat, while declining 8% in value terms to R26,682 crore in the last fiscal, still remained the largest item in the Apeda export basket. Buffalo meat exports surpassed the value of Basmati rice exports for the first time in FY15.
Shipments of the aromatic grain fell 17% by value to R22,714 crore in FY 16 mainly because of lower exports to Iran and a fall in prices. In the case of exports of non-Basmati rice, the decline was a steep 26% in terms of value.
Sources said that the average realisation from Basmati exports has fallen from $1,295 per tonne in FY14 to around $850 a tonne in FY16 while for non-Basmati rice, the fall was to $350 per tonne in the last fiscal from around $450 per tonne two years earlier.
“Countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, besides African countries such as Nigeria and Kenya, have cut down on rice import mainly because of sluggish economic growth there,” a rice exporter told FE.
Exports of guargum, mostly used by US-based oil exploration company, declined by more than 61% to Rs 3,613 crore in 2015-16 compared with Rs 9,478 crore in the previous year.
However, shipments of fresh fruit and vegetables saw a 10% rise in FY16 to Rs 8,681 crore.
Apeda monitors shipment of 22 commodities such as rice, wheat, buffalo meat, fruit and vegetables, pulses and other meat products. The authority has identified 20-odd clusters located for sustaining growth in the country’s food products’ exports. These clusters include Basmati rice (Haryana and Punjab), buffalo meat (western Uttar Pradesh), grape and wine (Nashik region, Maharashtra), pomegranate (Satara and Pune regions of Maharashtra), dehydrated onions and garlic (Gujarat), poultry or egg (Namakkal) and mango pulp (Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra).