BENGALURU: India’s agri and processed food exports registered a marginal growth for the year ended March 2017 over the corresponding previous year, despite the top two large product categories — buffalo meat and basmati rice — registering a dip in shipments. A double-digit growth in shipments of fresh fruits, vegetables, non-basmati rice and a sharp increase in groundnut exports helped sustain the overall agri-exports growth trend, said APEDA Chairman DK Singh.
According to provisional data, overall agri and processed food exports grew 1.31 per cent in rupee terms at Rs. 1.078 lakh crore, against Rs.1.064 lakh crore in the previous financial year.
In dollar terms, the shipments during 2016-17 were estimated at $16.092 billion, lower by around 1 per cent over the previous year’s $16.27 billion. Basmati exports dropped 7 per cent in dollar terms at $3.2 billion, against the previous year’s $3.47 billion.
In volume terms, basmati shipments were estimated at 3.99 million tonnes, against 4.04 mt.
Singh attributed the dip in basmati shipments mainly to the reduced offtake from Iran, the largest buyer. “Iran had imposed a minimum export price of $850 per tonne, and Indian exporters were not keen to sell at that price; this impacted the volumes to an extent. Now Iran has gradually started issuing permits,” Singh said.
Non-basmati rice shipments grew 10.5 per cent in value at Rs.17,122 crore (Rs.15,483 crore).
In volumes, the non-basmati rice shipments were up at 6.81 mt, against 6.46 mt in the previous year. Overall rice shipments exceeded 10.81 mt, about 3 per cent higher than the previous year’s 10.50 mt.
The Apeda Chairman sees bright prospects for exports of fresh fruits and vegetables, and also non-basmati rice in the current financial year.