Spices imports has gone up in the last fiscal substantially due to competitive prices in the global market.
Spices import showed an increase of about 5,000 tonnes in volume and about Rs 65 crore (Rs 650 million) in value from the previous financial year mainly because of the competitive prices for most of the items in the world market.
The total imports during April-March 2006-07 stood at 95,405 tonnes valued at Rs 603.87 crore (Rs 6.03 billion) as against 90,412 tonnes worth Rs 539.24 crore (Rs 5.39 billion) in 2005-06, registering an increase of 4,993 tonnes in volume and Rs 64.63 crore (Rs 646.3 million) in value.
There has been a significant rise in the imports of cardamom (large) and small, turmeric, poppy seed, cassia, mustard seed, cumin black/white and other spices. Nutmeg and mace, spice oils and oleoresins and chilli/paprika have also showed an increase. In most of the cases the low unit value seems to have paved the way for
Despite a sharp fall in the unit value of ginger fresh/dry to Rs 11.83 a kg from Rs 19.69 a kg in 2005-06 its imports had dropped to 20,700 tonnes valued at Rs 24.50 crore (Rs 245 million) last fiscal from 23,680 tonnes worth Rs 46.63 crore (Rs 466.3 million) because of its availability indigenously cheaper.
Short supply of nutmeg, mace, cassia, poppy seed, chilli/paprika and other spices such as aniseed, cambodge, asafoetida and herbal spices in the country has pushed up the imports of these items.
High prices in the world market for cloves have resulted in drop in its imports, which fell to 7,250 tonnes valued at Rs 112.85 crore (Rs 1.12 billion) in 2006-07 from 7,721 tonnes valued at Rs 131.17 crore (Rs 1.31 billion) in the previous fiscal.
Imports of pepper, however, have shown a decline last fiscal to 15,750 tonnes valued at Rs 136.42 crore (Rs 1.36 billion) from 16,870 tonnes worth Rs 103.58 crore (Rs 1.03 billion) in 2005-06.