Mumbai: India’s mint products exports are expected to rise more than six times this year on higher overseas demand and a bumper crop, data from the Spices Board showed.
The Spices Board has set an export target of 15,100 tonnes of mint products—mint oils, menthol and menthol crystals —for April-May 2007-08 as against exports of 2,350 tonnes last year.
The area under mint crop has risen 75% to 250,000 hectares in the 2006-07 crop season, pushing the production to 45,000 tonnes, up 13,000 tonnes from 2005-06, traders and analysts said.
“We are getting orders, but not much as people are waiting for prices to fall,” said Manu Gupta, export manager at Delhi-based Sharp Menthol India Ltd.
“Production is higher this year so prices should fall. Then, buyers would be more,” he added.
Exporters are hoping the prices would fall nearly 6% to Rs480 a kg so the market could get buying support, but prices are trading steady or higher on fears that heavy rains could damage the crop.
Mentha oil for July delivery on the Multi Commodity Exchange ended 1.08% up at Rs513.40 on Thursday.
The July contract on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange closed 1.38% higher at Rs511.60.
India exports mint products —used in drugs, confectionary and body-care products—primarily to China, Europe and the US.
“We have started getting export orders for mentha,” Arvend Arora, director of Arora Aromatics, said.
“Demand is picking up and orders would only increase by September,” he added.