New air route to help Odisha export mangoes to Southeast Asia

May 19, 2017 0

By Chinmaya Dehury

Bhubaneswar–Put this down to connectivity. After Bangladesh, Odisha’s mangoes are soon expected to find a market in Southeast Asia — thanks to a new flight from Biju Patnaik International Airport here.

Malaysian low-cost airline AirAsia started its first international flight from the city airport to Kuala Lumpur on April 26 this year — and that has prompted the state government to explore the possibility of mango exports to Malaysia and other Southeast Asian countries.

“We are preparing a feasibility study to export mangoes to Southeast Asia. The Horticulture Department has already approached the Odisha Agricultural Marketing Board (OAMB) and other stakeholders, including some e-marketing agencies,” Sankarsan Rout, Assistant Director, Horticulture, told IANS.

He said they would help farmers’ cooperatives to sell their products to other parts of the country as well as overseas.

“The mangoes of Odisha meet all quality parameters for exports. What we need to do is to tap the market. The government is in talks with various stakeholders for exporting the fruit,” Barada Prasanna Choudhury, marketing consultant to OAMB, told IANS.

To facilitate the global and domestic trading of mangoes, the Horticulture Department has set up Dhenkanal Fruits & Vegetables Marketing Co. Ltd. with processing and packaging facilities.

The state government is also likely to rope in online trading platform NCDEX E-Marketing Ltd. (NEML) for marketing the mangoes, sources said.

On the home front, north India and Mumbai have long been a destination for Odisha’s mangoes.

Odisha produces nearly 800,000 tonnes of mangoes every year — making it the sixth-largest mango-growing state in India, which accounts for over 60 per cent of global production.

Of the mangoes produced in Odisha, high-end varieties like Amrapalli, Dussehri, Mallika, Keshari and Langada account for some 40 per cent.

Dhenkanal, Angul, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and Boudh are the districts where a bulk of the mangoes are grown. The varieties that dominate the Indian market are Baiganpalli, Dussehri, Amrapalli, Kesari Totapuri, Latsundari, Mallika, Subarnarekha, Himasagar, Neelum and Chausa.

Mangoes from India are popular in the Middle East, the Far East, the United States and European countries.

The export volumes are expected to rise as new countires like South Korea and Iran have allowed the import of Indian mangoes.

According to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), India’s mango exports are likely to surpass last year’s level and touch the 50,000 tonne mark in the ongoing fiscal, buoyed by strong demand and supply of export- quality fruit. (IANS)

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India’s March exports up by over 27 percent

Apr 13, 2017 0

New Delhi– India’s exports revival continued for the seventh straight month, recording 27.59 per cent growth during March 2017, official data showed on Thursday.

According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, exports grew by 27.59 per cent to $29.23 billion from $22.91 billion worth of merchandise shipped out during March 2016.

“Non-petroleum and non gems and jewellery exports in March 2017 were valued at $ 21,420.91 million against $ 17,071 million in March 2016, an increase of 25.5 per cent,” the ministry said in a statement.

However, the country’s imports during the month under review increased by 45.25 per cent to $39.66 billion.

India’s oil imports during last month exponentially increased by 101.43 per cent to $9.71 billion. Non-oil imports were up by 33.21 per cent, to $29.95 billion, from $22.48 billion in the corresponding month of last year.

Consequently, the trade deficit during the month under review stood at $10.43 billion from $4.39 billion reported for March 2016.

Cumulatively for 2016-17 fiscal year, exports rose by 4.71 per cent in US dollar terms at $274.64 billion, as against $262.29 billion worth of merchandise shipped out in 2015-16.

In contrast, imports bill for the April-March 2016-17 period inched down by 0.17 per cent to $380.36 billion from $381 billion for 2015-16.

Accordingly, the trade deficit during the fiscal year under review stood at $105.72 billion from $118.71 billion in 2015-16.  (IANS)

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Slaughterhouse ban to hit leather goods industry, hit exports

Apr 1, 2017 0

By Bappaditya Chatterjee

Kolkata– Leather goods manufacturers, who have experienced a slump in raw material supply from domestic sources, fear that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Uttar Pradesh government’s action against illegal slaughterhouses could hit supplies and raise prices.

They also say a “blanket ban” on slaughterhouses could defeat the purpose of the Make in India programme for the $12 billion Indian leather industry, which is among the top five in the world’s leather market.

In case of short supply of raw materials from the indigenous market, manufacturers need to look for costly imports of raw materials instead of cheap domestic sourcing which would make Indian leather exports less competitive in the world market.

“The crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses by the Uttar Pradesh government cannot be questioned, but a blanket ban will affect the domestic supply of raw material. Since illegal units were in the supply chain, some amount of short supply is expected,” Tapan Nandi, Convenor Chairman for German Investment in India of the Council of Leather Export, told IANS.

According to industry sources, Uttar Pradesh being a large state contributes a majority of raw material supply along with Punjab, Bihar and West Bengal.

“A blanket ban on slaughterhouses would nudge manufacturers to depend more on imported raw materials, which are costly. If the imports go up, that will add to the cost of Indian leather products and we will lose our competitiveness in the world market. Thus, the Make in India programme could be impacted,” he said.

According to the Council of Leather Export, India produces about three billion sq ft of raw leather annually. The country’s leather industry is bestowed with an affluence of raw materials as India is endowed with 21 per cent of the world’s cattle and buffaloes and 11 per cent of the world’s goat and sheep population.

“The domestic raw material supplies have been showing a declining trend mainly because our exports were hurt. About 2,000 tanneries in India have been facing a crunch in supplies. About seven per cent of fallen animals are not being sourced for value addition,” Nandi said.

India’s export of leather and leather products for the financial year 2015-16 recorded a negative growth of 9.86 per cent, touching $5.85 billion as against $6.49 billion in previous year.

“It is too early to say whether the illegal slaughterhouse ban in Uttar Pradesh will impact the supply. But some apprehension prevails if a large-scale ban is executed,” Adhar Sahni, Vice President, Indian Leather Products Association, told IANS.

However, imports of finished leather have been increasing at a rate of 15-20 per cent year-on-year.

“Imports are rising according the need of the products. If orders of leather products require imported raw materials, imports will accordingly rise,” Sahni said.

Nandi, however, asked, “If the ban on slaughterhouses, mainly cow slaughter houses, is a political decision, the imports of raw materials, particularly cow hide and skin, should be a sensitive matter for the political parties. Isn’t it?” (IANS)

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India imposes 10% import duty on wheat, tur dal

Mar 28, 2017 0

New Delhi–The government on Tuesday imposed 10 per cent import duty on wheat and tur dal (arhar) with immediate effect.

The move is aimed at protecting farmers’ interest in the wake of bumper harvest this year.

Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Finance, informed Lok Sabha that amendments were made in a notification to impose basic customs duty of 10 per cent on wheat and tur with immediate effect.

In December last year, the government had scrapped the 10 per cent import duty on wheat amid rising domestic prices and concerns of a dip in buffer stocks following two consecutive drought years.

As wheat harvest has started arriving in the market, the decision to impose import duty will help to contain fall in the prices and ensure fair support price to the farmers.

As per the government’s second advanced estimates, the production of wheat is estimated at 96.64 million tonnes this year, which is higher than the previous record production of 95.85 million tonnes in 2013-14.

Tur dal production is estimated to be 4.23 million tonnes this year. (IANS)

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India lifts ban on bulk export of certain edible oils

Mar 27, 2017 0

New Delhi–The Central government on Monday lifted the ban on the export of groundnut oil, soyabean oil, sesame oil and maize oil in bulk quantities, an official statement said.

Earlier, there was restriction on the bulk export of these edible oils and it was only permitted in branded consumer pack of 5 kgs.

“Export of groundnut oil, sesame oil, soyabean oil, and maize (corn) oil in bulk, irrespective of any pack size, has been exempted from the prohibition on export of edible oils,” said a Commerce Ministry notification.

Indian Oilseeds and Produce Export Promotion Council welcomed the move saying it would help both farmers and exporters.

“Farmers failed to get fair deal for produce of oilseeds especially groundnut and sesame due to poor procurement by the government and cap on its export in bulk quantity. The move will surely help farmers and exporters as they will get fair price,” said ist chairman Sanjiv Sawla.

He added that the move will provide Indian exporters level playing field in the global market since other competing countries like Sudan, Ethiopia, China, Myanmar, Bangladesh do not have any restriction of bulk packing.

According to the IOPEC data, India produces about 5 million tonnes of groundnut oil, out of which just 10 per cent is exported.

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India’s February exports up by over 17 percent

Mar 16, 2017 0

New Delhi– India’s exports revived for the sixth straight month, as the country’s merchandise shipments overseas reported a double-digit growth during February, official data showed on Wednesday.

According to data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the exports grew by 17.48 per cent to $24.49 billion from $20.84 billion worth of merchandise shipped out during February 2016.

However, the country’s imports during the month under review increased by 21.76 per cent to $33.38 billion from $27.41 billion worth of merchandise which were shipped out in during the corresponding month of last year.

Consequently, the trade deficit during February reduced to $8.89 billion from $9.84 billion reported for the month before. On a year-on-year (YoY) basis, the trade deficit stood at $6.57 billion during same month of 2016.

“The growth in exports is positive for USA (5.61 per cent), EU(1.68 per cent) and Japan(10.87 per cent) but China has exhibited negative growth of (-6.20 per cent) for December 2016 over the corresponding period of previous year as per latest WTO statistics,” said a Commerce Ministry release here.

Cumulatively for the April-February period, exports rose marginally by 2.52 per cent in dollar terms at $245.4 billion, as against exports of $239.3 billion over the same period last year.

“Non-petroleum and non Gems and Jewellery exports in February 2017 were valued at $18.01 billion against $14.99 billion in February 2016, an increase of 20.15 per cent,” a statement here said.

Cumulative imports for April-February were worth at $340.7 billion, which was a 3.67 per cent fall from $353.7 billion worth imports recorded for the same period of the previous fiscal.

India’s oil imports during February were valued at $7.68 billion, which was a massive 60.02 per cent jump over oil imports valued at $4.8 billion in the corresponding month of 2016.

Non-oil imports in February were up by 13.65 per cent, to $25.70 billion, from $22.61 billion in the same month of last year.

The merchandise trade deficit cumulatively for April-February, however, declined by 16.65 per cent to $95.28 billion, as against $114.3 billion in the same period of 2015-16.

As per Reserve Bank of India data on Wednesday, services exports during January 2017 were valued at $13.57 billion, while imports stood at $8.4 billion, resulting in a positive trade balance of $5.16 billion.

Taking merchandise and services together, overall trade deficit for April-February is estimated at $41.8 billion, which is 24 per cent fall from the level of $55.02 billion during the same period last year.

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Steel exports surge 150% in Feb, overtake imports

Mar 11, 2017 0

Kolkata– Overtaking imports, India’s steel exports jumped by 150 per cent in February over year-ago month and the country shipped out 6.622 million tonnes (mt) of steel in April-February period of the current fiscal, up by 77.6 per cent over the same period last year, a steel ministry report said.

“Export of total finished steel was up by 77.6 per cent in April-February 2016-17 at 6.622 mt over same period of last year. Exports in February were up by 150 per cent over February 2016 but declined by 15 per cent over January 2017,” said the report of Joint Plant Committee.

Imports of total finished steel in the first 11 months of the current fiscal declined by 38.5 per cent to 6.591 mt over same period of last year and in February only, imports were at 0.491 mt, down by 46 per cent over same month last year.

“Given such trends in export-import, India emerged as a net exporter of total finished steel during February 2017 as well as April-February 2016-17,” the report said.

According to it, India’s consumption of total finished steel at 76.229 mt saw a growth of 3.4 per cent in April-February period in 2016-17 over same period of last year. Consumption in February, 2017 at 7.334 mt was up by 3 per cent over corresponding month last year and but declined by 0.2 per cent over January, 2017.

Production for sale of total finished steel at 91.846 mt, registered a growth of 11.1 per cent during April-February in 2016-17 over same period of last year.

Overall finished steel production for sale at 8.838 mt in February, 2017 was up by 13 per cent over year-ago month but declined by 2.3 per cent over January 2017,” the report added. (IANS)

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India’s January exports at over $20 billion grow 4% year-on-year

Feb 15, 2017 0

New Delhi– Continuing with the revival in exports for the fifth month in a row, Indian merchandise shipments overseas at $20.20 billion in January 2017 registered an uptick of 4.32 per cent over the $21.20 billion exported in January 2015, official data showed on Wednesday.

Imports during the month in consideration at $31.96 billion also marked an increase of 10.70 per cent over the $28.87 billion worth of imports in January last year.

Consequently, the trade deficit in January was higher at $9.84 billion, as compared to the deficit of $7.67 billion during same month of 2016.

“The growth in exports is positive for USA (2.63 per cent), EU (5.47 per cent) and Japan (13.43 per cent), but China has exhibited negative growth of (-1.51 per cent) for November 2016 over the corresponding period of previous year as per latest WTO statistics,” a Commerce Ministry release here said.(IANS)

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Sitharaman urges states to synergise export promotion efforts

Jan 5, 2017 0

New Delhi– The central and the state governments need to synergise their efforts in a bid to boost Indian exports on a sustainable basis, Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Thursday.

“Though, since last January we have managed to contain our trade deficit due to controls on imports, there is an immediate need to synergise our efforts and jointly take appropriate steps to boost India’s exports – which is the only sustainable way in today’s international trade environment,” she said here addressing officials from the states and central ministries at the Council for Trade Development and Promotion meeting.

The Council members include Trade and Commerce Ministers from states, besides secretaries of the central government and industry representatives, including the Federation of Indian Export Oraganisations (FIEO).

The Minister sought suggestions on improving export competitiveness and “on how can we partner in the adoption of such measures to create an environment conducive for exports.”

“One such area which requires immediate intervention is that of facilities for testing, certification, trace-back, packaging and labelling,” she said.

Signalling a definitive reversal of the continuous decline in Indian exports earlier in the year, official data last month showed these grew for the third month in a row at $20 billion in November, an uptick of 2.29 per cent over $19.56 billion in November 2015. The pace of increase of exports in November, however, slowed sequentially from the 9.59 per cent growth in October at $23.51 billion worth of merchandise exports that month.

Sitharaman also said the Central government is trying to formulate a scheme which could provide financial support and supplement states’ efforts to create export infrastructure.

“I hope, we can soon succeed in achieving a consensus for the roll out of the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme,” she said, adding so far only 17 states have developed their export strategy aligned with the national policy on trade.

“I would like to take this opportunity to exhort the state governments to develop and pursue appropriate export strategies in line with national Foreign Trade Policy and we would be happy to associate in such efforts,” she said.

Sitharaman also underlined the need to focus on services exports, she said there is a need to diversify services exports basket by enabling more sectors and to breach more markets.

“Other areas like medical tourism, nursing and healthcare, education, audio-visual media also afford an excellent potential which can be harnessed. For this, we need to develop the right competencies like language skills for the East and North East Asian markets,” she said.

Sitharaman also urged all the states to consider organising bi-monthly meetings with the exporters to sort out infrastructure and tax related issues, which would go a long way in improving India’s trade competitiveness. (IANS)

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Spices exports from India grow both in value and volume

Jan 4, 2017 0

Kochi– Spices exports from India in the first half of fiscal 2016-17 grew both in value and volume, the Spices Board of India said here on Wednesday.

According to a statement from the Board here, this happened on account of increase of shipments of nutmeg, mace, cumin and garlic registering a five per cent in volume to 4,37,360 tonnes during April-September 2016, compared to 4,14,780 tonnes in the first half of the previous fiscal.

In value terms during the same period, exports registered a seven per cent growth to touch Rs 8,415.97 crore.

Chilli became the most exported spice for the April-September 2016 period with the shipment of 1,65,000 tonnes, fetching Rs 2,307.75 crore.

Garlic exports contributed substantially to the overall growth during the period, after rising 132 per cent in value terms and 55 per cent in quantity, while the export of nutmeg and mace grew by 81 per cent in quantity as compared to last year and saw a 69 per cent increase in value, Cumin exports rose by 49 per cent to 68,600 tonnes, as compared to 45,894 tonnes during the same period in the previous year.

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