Kochi: Pepper exports from India, which enjoyed a dominant share of global trade in the commodity in recent months, have started to decline as competing countries start shipping their produce after delayed harvests, according to figures released by the Spices Board of India.
Indian pepper shipments dropped 12.2% to 7,550 tonnes in April-June, from 8,600 tonnes in the same period last year, said the board, a government-run trade promotion forum. Export earnings increased to Rs126.23 crore during this period, from Rs121.58 crore a year ago, as the average price rose to Rs167.19 per kg from Rs141.37 per kg.
Indian pepper is priced in the global market at $3,700 (Rs1.57 lakh) a tonne, a price Indonesia is expected to match, while Brazilian pepper sells for about $3,500, said Kishor Shamji, exporter and former president of the India Pepper and Spice Trade Association, the country’s first pepper futures exchange.
Indonesia is likely to start exporting 12,000-18,000 tonnes of pepper from August, recovering from a delayed harvest. Brazil’s exports of about 35,000 tonnes are likely to start after September.
Some traders are predicting a dip in the global supply of pepper because India and some other countries could face lower production. The Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development, a government-run body, is expected to start a crop assessment survey after the monsoon.
Meanwhile, India exported 67,000 tonnes of chilli worth Rs333.53 crore between April and June, up from 57,625 tonnes worth Rs321.36 crore last year, riding on higher demand from countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
In the first quarter of this fiscal year, India’s spices exports increased 28% to Rs1,375.05 crore from Rs1,073.50 crore in the same period of the previous year.
The country has achieved 35% of the spices export target set for fiscal 2008-09 in terms of quantity. The figure was 32% in terms of value, according to the Spices Board.
Large cardamom, turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, garlic, curry powder, spice oils and mint products recorded higher exports both in terms of quantity and value.
Small cardamom and celery exports increased in value terms, while nutmeg, ginger and fennel fell both in quantity and value.