Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Oct 24, 2006
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Spices & Condiments
Industry & Economy - Exports & Imports
Cumin exports up three-fold
Kochi , Oct. 23
Cumin exports have made a quantum leap during the first half of the current fiscal on short supply in the world market.
Shipments during April - September have shot up to 16,500 tonnes valued at Rs 119.80 crore from 4,364 tonnes valued at Rs 33.89 crore in the same period last fiscal - an increase of Rs 85.91 crore in value and 12,136 tonnes in quantity.
Dip in unit value
The unit value has, however, shown a decline to Rs 72.61 a kg from Rs 77.66 a kg.
The performance has been against the target set for the current financial year of 20,000 tonnes valued at Rs 130 crore.
"Given this trend it almost certain that the exports of cumin seeds during the current fiscal would cross the target," Spices Board sources told Business Line.
Export in 2005-06 was 12,000 tonnes worth Rs 88 crore down from 13,750 tonnes worth Rs 101.90 crore the previous year.
In India, it is harvested in the beginning of the year, while in Turkey, Syria and Iran from May to August.
The biggest consumer of cumin seeds in the world is India and, hence, the internal market alone absorbs about 90 per cent of the production in the country.It is mainly grown in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
The highest ever production was in 2001-02 when it touched 2.06 tonnes from a total area of 5.26 lakh hectares, market sources said.
Other producing countries include those in North Africa, Iran, Indonesia, China, Turkey and Syria.
According to International market sources, the carryover stock this year seems to be very little and, hence, prices are likely to hover around $ 1,700 a tonne in the coming months.
Indian cumin is exported in its natural as well as powdered forms, besides as essential oils. Shipments are mainly to the US, Singapore, Japan, the UK, and West Asian countries.
The world demand for cumin is said to be in the range of 12,000-15,000 tonnes and the important markets are Singapore, the US, the UK, the Netherlands etc., they said.
Cumin is an important ingredient in curry powder. Its oil also has minor applications, mainly as flavouring agent.
It is used as an ingredient in several ayurvedic medicines.
These factors could be attributed to the high consumption of the commodity in the country, they added.
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