Jeera exports may cross 100,000 tonnes this year

With short supply from other jeera producing countries, export from India is likely to cross 100,000 tonnes by end of March 2014. According to industry sources good quality and lower price have lured countries to India.

"At present India is the only source for good quality jeera. Moreover, in the international market Indian jeera is cheaper compared to those from other countries including Turkey and Syria. That's why jeera export has increased this year," said Girish Brahmbhatt, chairman, Indian Spice and Foodstuff Exporters Association (ISFEA).

Indian jeera prices in international market was about $2,000-2,200 per tonne while jeera those from Turkey and Syria were costing about $ 2,800 per tonne.

"Because of lower prices and good quality international buyers including European Union countries and US are attracted to India. As a result there is a rise in export this year," said Hemant Bhuta, partner, Narottamdas Harivallabhdas and Company from Unjha.

According to Spice Board of India's data, during April to September 2013, India had exported 67,500 tonne jeera which was 35,018 tonnes in the same period the previous year. As per exporters, by December 2013 the country had exported about 80,000 tonnes. Total jeera export during 2012-2013 was about 80,000 tonnes.

"India's export likely to be over 100,000 tonnes this year as India is the only country supplying jeera in international market," said Yogesh Mehta, managing director of Spicexim, Mumbai. Mehta is also director in ISFEA.

Currently daily arrival was about 4,000-4,500 bags in Unjha while trade was about 8,000 bags per day. Price of export quality jeera was ruling around Rs 2,350-2,550 per 20 kg. Best quality jeera for domestic trade stood at Rs 2,600-2,700 per 20 kg.

"Supply barrier from Turkey and Syria is the main problem and as a result most of the demand has diverted to India in past two years. Good export demand also encouraged jeera sowing in the country," said Ashvin Patel, managing director, BS Commodity Limited from Unjha.

Traders and exporters expected 357,500 tonnes jeera production for 2013-14. Last year it was around 302,500 tonnes. As per Spice Board of India's data, last year jeera production was 394,328 tonnes.

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