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Business News/ Industry / Red Sanders: What is it?
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Red Sanders: What is it?

The economics behind a rare wood in high demand in international markets

A file photo of seized red sander wood in Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. Photo: Wikimedia CommonsPremium
A file photo of seized red sander wood in Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

New Delhi: Red sander wood (aka red sanders) is in the news after the brutal killing of alleged poachers from neigbouring Tamil Nadu by policemen in Andhra Pradesh.

What is it?

It is a rare kind of sandalwood that is in high demand in international market and costs around 1,500 to 2,000 a kg. The major markets for the wood are China, Japan, the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Nepal.

Does India export it?

No, its export is banned. But smuggling is rife. In the last three years alone (between 2012-13 to 2014-15), at least 4658 tonnes of read sander wood has been seized in India resulting in arrest of around 11,000 people, mainly across Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh where this kind of wood is primarily found. In 2013, over 50 Chinese nationals carrying red sanders in various forms in their hand baggage were detained at Delhi’s airport which is a major exit routes for these smugglers. The wood is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.

What is it used for?

There is an unsubstantiated belief that red sanders can absorb nuclear radiation. Its primary use, however, is decorative and ornamental.

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Published: 06 May 2015, 05:31 PM IST
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