Agri-Exports and Imports scale new highs


Agri-Exports and Imports scale new highs

News: Both agricultural exports from and imports into India have scaled new highs in the fiscal year that ended March 31, 2023.

Instructions – You need to have idea about India’s top agri exports and imports. The data is important from Prelims perspective.


o Provisional data from the Department of Commerce shows total farm exports at $53.15 billion and imports at $35.69 billion during 2022-23, surpassing their previous year’s records of $50.24 billion and $32.42 billion respectively.

What has helped India’s agricultural commodity be more competitive?

o Recovery of The UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index (FPI)
o The FPI – a weighted average of world prices of a basket of food commodities over a base period value (2014-16=100) – recovered to 102.5 points by 2020-21, and further to 133 points in 2021-22 and 139.5 points in 2022-23.
o That has made India’s agri-commodities more globally price competitive, exports also soared to $41.90 billion, $50.24 billion and $53.15 billion during these three years.

What items have powered our agri-exports?

o Marine products, rice (driven more by NonBasmati) and sugar
o Basmati exports are mainly to the Persian Gulf countries and, to some extent, the US and UK.
o Non-basmati shipments are more diversified, with the destinations spread across Asia (Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Vietnam, UAE and Iraq) and Africa (from Senegal, Ivory Coast and Benin to Somalia and Madagascar). It’s non-basmati that has made India the biggest rice exporter, ahead of Thailand.
o In sugar exports, the country has emerged as the world’s No. 2 exporter after Brazil. Indian mills have built markets for both raw sugar (among refineries in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Iraq) and Regular plantation whites (in African countries, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and China).
o Spices exports have stagnated since 2020-21.
o The exports of raw cotton, guar-gum (a thickening agent used in extraction of shale oil and gas) and oil meals, have declined.

What is our import profile?

o Unlike exports, India’s imports of farm produce are dominated by a handful of items.
o The most significant is vegetable oils, whose imports have more than doubled in value terms.
o Imports meet roughly 60% of India’s vegetable oil requirements, 10% of pulses.
o Imports of spices, cashew and cotton – commodities where India has traditionally been a net exporter – have shown a rising trend.

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