Prime Minister Narendra Modi's observation on increasing use of spices in the world, after outbreak of Corona virus, is borne out by a huge rise in exports of Indian spices, by 34 per cent in rupee terms and 23 per cent in dollar terms in June this year, an Assocham dipstick study has shown. Spices exports from India went up (by 23 per cent) to US$359 million in June 2020 from US$292 million in the same month last year, contrary to a decline of 12.41 per cent in the country's overall merchandise export basket during this period.
In domestic currency, thanks to forex advantage, spices exporters raked in even better realisations which rose (up 34 per cent) to Rs 2,721 crore in June, 2020 from Rs 2,030 crore in the comparative month a year ago, as per official data.
Pepper, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, coriander, cumin, celery, fennel, fenugreek, nutmeg, spice oils and oleoresins, and mint products are the major spices shipped abroad. Indian spices reach almost the entire world while the main importers include the US, the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Canada, Australia, the UAE, Iran, Singapore, China and Bangladesh, among others.
''The Prime Minister noticed how demand for spices of which India is among the main producers, is increasing as more and more people rush to strengthen immunity. Thanks to the efforts of the Aayush Ministry and traditional knowledge about spices being a strong immunity builder, an increasing number of Indians are taking to higher consumption of spices. But the rising exports trend does show how the world is benefiting from these items," said Assocham secretary-general Deepak Sood.
The study also noticed how rising demand for spices in the domestic market even led to a sharp increase in their prices by almost 12 per cent in June,2020 whereas the headline CPI inflation was half that level.
''While the Aayush Ministry has been making commendable efforts to promote India's Traditional Knowledge, the Covid-19 pandemic is compelling us to go an extra mile to document evidence based benefits of our TKs, as per the WTO norms so that we are able to protect and promote our treasure," said Sood.