December was the brightest period for the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) as exports of the products promoted by it were the highest in a month this fiscal. The value of shipments increased to a seven-month high of 37 per cent ($2.44 billion). With the escalation of tension in Ukraine, if the global commodities prices flare up, it may help APEDA to achieve its target of $23.7 billion for the current fiscal.
Exports of APEDA-promoted major agriculture and processed products, broadly divided into 27 categories, touched $17.47 billion (₹1,29,782 crore), up by 23.83 per cent over the $14.11 billion registered in the year-ago period, according to the latest export data. However, to achieve the target the current volume of shipments need to be maintained during January-March quarter at previous quarter level, experts said.
“Already 74 per cent of the target has been achieved in first three quarters and growth momentum is likely to be same in last quarter (January-March) as well,” said M Angamuthu, Chairman of APEDA. There was a slight slowdown during July-September, otherwise target could have met before end of this fiscal, he said.
APEDA has developed product metrics for about 75 products in the top 50 countries and will actively encourage sustainable growth in their shipments, Angamuthu said. “Our endeavour is to make India a reliable food and nutritional security provider, globally,” he said.
According to official data, exports of non-Basmati rice grew 46 per cent to $4.49 billion (₹33,350 crore), buffalo meat by 6 per cent to $2.5 billion (₹18,674 crore) and wheat 417 per cent to $1.44 billion (₹10,694 crore), while Basmati rice dropped 19 per cent to $2.38 billion (₹ 17,689 crore) during April-December of current fiscal. These four commodities make up 62 per cent of the total exports of the APEDA-promoted products this year.
“The Ukrainian crisis will boost wheat, maize and honey exports from India. It opens up an opportunity in barley exports, too. All these export opportunities could be realised if there is no supply chain impediments,” said S Chandrasekaran, a foreign trade policy expert. As global prices of commodities may flare up amid the geopolitical tension, it may help the country to get higher realisation in global markets in agri commodities, he added.
APEDA-promoted products have nearly 50 per cent share in the country’s overall agricultural export of $41.25 billion (in 2020-21), whereas marine products are the second most contributor with 14 per cent share, followed by spices with 10 per cent share.