Indian ginger exports slipped in April-December 2016 on the availability of the commodity at competitive rates from other origins.
Against the official export target of 33,000 tonnes valued at ₹429.00 crore, shipments during the first nine months of last fiscal stood at 16,000 tonnes valued at ₹180.45 crore, registering a decline of 8 per cent in volume and 15 per cent in value, according to Spices Board sources. During the same period in FY16, exports were at 17,350 tonnes valued at ₹211.71 crore.
“Nigerian and Chinese dry ginger is available in the world market at lower rates and this has brought down the offtake from India,” Anand Kishor, President of the India Pepper and Spice Trade Association (IPSTA), told BusinessLine. In recent years, a drop in indigenous production of dry ginger has also increased dependence on imports, he added.
The production cost of dry ginger is over 200 a kg, making it unviable, said PV Eliyas, a major ginger grower in Kerala and Karnataka. The variety used to make dry ginger is mainly grown in Kerala. As the labour costs in the State are comparatively greater, the production cost remains high, he pointed out.
Trade sources here said non-availability of sufficient quantity of dry ginger within the country has forced traders to import it from Nigeria and China. India imported 26,610 tonnes of ginger valued at ₹101.16 crore in FY16, against 23,050 tonnes valued at ₹106.66 crore in FY15.
Traders here said the cultivation of Cochin ginger, a high-quality variety traded at a premium in international markets, has gradually come down due to non-remunerative prices. Cochin ginger is considered one of the best in the world market because of its “characteristic lemon-like flavour” and the absence of fibre content.
India is the largest producer of ginger in the world, with an estimated 7,99,860 tonnes from 1,53,450 ha in 2015-16, according to official statistics. However, in terms of area, Nigeria and China are at the top. India and China contribute almost 50 per cent of world ginger production.