MUMBAI (Reuters) - India is likely to export a record 190,000 tonnes of red chilli in 2007/08, up 28 percent on year, on strong global demand due to poor crop in competing countries, an official from the Spices Board said.
India, the world’s biggest producer and consumer of the red spice, had exported 148,500 tonnes in 2006/07.
“This year overseas demand is good....considering present trend we could export 190,000 tonnes by March end,” the official told Reuters on Monday.
In the first eight months of 2007/08, India exported 128,000 tonnes of the red spice, up 56 percent from a year ago.
“Lower Chinese output has been helping India. This year its crop was not good and it will help Indian exporters throughout the year,” the official said.
India and China are the largest exporters of chillies in the world with 25 and 24 percent share of total global exports, respectively.
The official said Malaysia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan were the main buyers of the Indian spice in 2007/08.
“This year production will increase due to increased acreage, but rising export will give support to prices,” said Alepata Srinivas Rao, a trader based in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.
The official production data was not available, but trade experts said in 2007/08 production would increase by 17 percent to 1.4 million tonnes. India usually exports about 10 percent of its output.
The state-run board had set an export target of 135,000 tonnes for 2007/08.
“Presently there is shortage of good quality chilli. But from February new arrivals will increase in the spot market and export also (will increase),” the spices board official said.
The appreciation of rupee against dollar hadn’t impacted chilli exports as neighboring Bangladesh and Pakistan had also harvested less crop and overseas demand was robust, Rao added.
The rupee rose more than 12 percent against the U.S. dollar in 2007.
On 1.43 p.m. the benchmark February contract on the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Ltd (NCDEX) was trading up 0.63 percent at 3,839 rupees per 100 kg.