Kochi: Chilli and pepper exports have declined sharply during April-December 2008 due to lack of demand in the backdrop of the global economic recession.
Pepper exports stood at 19,100 tonnes, valued at Rs317.77 crore, during the period, as against 27,580 tonnes worth Rs400.19 crore a year ago, down by about 30%, according to the Spice Board data.
The average export price of pepper has gone up to Rs166.37 per kg in 2008, from Rs145.11 per kg in the year-ago period, it said.
Global recession has led to a credit crunch and as a result buyers are not stocking pepper, said Spice Board official P S Thampi.
The target for pepper exports in terms of volume and value for 2008-09 was 35,000 tonnes and Rs520 crore, respectively.
Meanwhile, India exported 1.41 lakh tonnes of chilli and chilli products valued at Rs793.18 crore, as against 1.49 lakh tonnes valued at Rs807.03 crore last year.
The exports went down as major global buyers are staying away from the markets waiting for the new crop, Thampi said.
He said, the exports are likely to pick up in the coming months once the new crop comes to the market. The target set for 2008-09 exports for the spice in terms of volume and value was about two lakh tonnes and Rs10,000 crore, respectively.
However, the traditional buyers, including Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka continued their buying this year also.
The total spice exports during April-December 2008 showed an increase of 15% in value and three per cent in quantity as compared with the corresponding period last year.
During the period, 3.34 lakh tonnes of spices, valued at Rs3,810.95 crore were exported, as against 3.25 lakh tonnes valued at Rs3,320 crore in the same period of last fiscal.