Spice Trade: 7 Interesting Facts about Indian Spice Trade
How did India become the world’s biggest exporter of spices? What were the cultural and political factors that contributed to its development as an economic power? How can we use the example of India’s spice trade to develop our own businesses? Here are seven interesting facts about the Indian spice trade that will give you answers to these questions and more.
India accounts for over 50% of world’s spice exports
Spices have been part of India’s culture for centuries, due to its extensive coastline and tropical climate. Almost all Indian households still use spices on a daily basis, making it one of today’s largest importers of international bulk spices. Many oversea countries also buy Indian spices online to complement their meal preparations. The country’s spice exports are estimated to be worth $7 billion per year and consist primarily of cardamom, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. It has become an extremely lucrative market for agricultural companies in countries such as Madagascar or Indonesia that can provide supplies cheaply enough to compete with local farmers in India.
India’s main exporters are Goa, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu
Each state in India has its own set of spices, depending on which region it is located. In addition to these varieties being grown in different parts of India, each Indian province has its own specific blend to give their native dishes a special flavour. Because of how diverse India is, there are hundreds if not thousands of variations when it comes to Indian food. This makes it difficult for them to export bulk spices and typically they ship only small quantities to other countries so that local customers don’t get stuck with non-perishable goods that aren’t convenient for them (like frozen meat). The good news is though that you can buy Indian spice online , and have it shipped straight to your door.
Top spices exported by India are Ginger, Turmeric, Coriander, Garlic, Chilli Powder
India exports more than 60% of global output of turmeric and exports an estimated 70% of ginger produced in India. These two spices alone account for nearly 50% of total export revenue from Indian spice trade. Apart from these, Indian spice exports also include coriander, garlic, chilli powder and curry leaves. A large number of spices exported by India are sold through various channels that range from wholesale traders to individual exporters or retail shops.
Over 40% of spice exports come from Karnataka
One of India’s most vibrant spice-growing states, Karnataka grows almost 45% of India’s black pepper, over 80% of its chili and an amazing 92% of its cardamom. These numbers are expected to grow as Karnataka expands its territories and invests in technology such as irrigation systems that help farmers increase their yield. The state is also looking to invest in new farm machinery, which will enable farmers to make better use of technology and help cut down on farm waste by around 20%. Some Indian spices exports also originate from other areas like Tamil Nadu, which produces about 10% of India’s exports.
Karnataka contributes to over 50% of export in Cardamom and Clove
India is now among world’s top spice exporters with Karnataka contributing to over 50% of export in Cardamom and Clove. Karnataka spices trade contributes to more than $4 billion in annual revenue. A shift from manual farming to mechanized farming has contributed to increase yield and quality of Indian spices. The rising demand for cardamom, cloves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds has encouraged farmers to cultivate these crops in India. Besides spices, another major product exported from India is Basmati rice which contributes over $2 billion annually.
Jammu & Kashmir contributes more than 90% of Cumin seeds
According to figures released by a NGO, Cumin is being cultivated mostly in Jammu & Kashmir where it contributes more than 90% of total national production. This accounts for nearly 98% of Indian exports followed by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh. There are five states in India that contribute bulk spices such as cumin seeds, black pepper, coriander powder, turmeric and fenugreek seeds. These include Jammu & Kashmir (Cumin), Andhra Pradesh (Coriander), Tamil Nadu (Turmeric), Gujarat (Pepper) and Kerala (Fenugreek). Cumin Seeds exports represent 88% of total shipments to Hong Kong during 2012-13.
Puducherry contributes more than 80% of export in Black Pepper
The name Puducherry consists of two Tamil words, ‘Pudu’ which means new and ‘Cheery’ meaning village. It was originally known as Pondicherry during colonial times. French colonization changed its name to Puducherry, reveals Wikipedia. And with a bit of Googling, we find out that Puducherry contributes more than 80% of export in Black Pepper which makes India one of top exporters in Black Pepper followed by Indonesia and Nigeria. Where do all your Indian spices come from? Now you know!
Indian Spice Demand is increasing at a rapid pace
We all know Indian food is on the rise in popularity. And when we talk about Indian food, we’re really talking about spice-based cuisine with a mix of vegetarian, meat and seafood. From China to Mexico, from France to Italy—spices are at an all-time high demand for use in every type of cuisine. This has resulted in a significant rise in Indian spice exports. Buy Indian spices online India is now seen as one of leading exporters for Asian spices globally, exporting both to European markets and North America.
Indian Spice Exports to Europe and North America are on the rise
Indian spice exports to Europe and North America are expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.1% over 2016-2021, with volumes reaching 897 thousand tonnes. The US is expected to be India’s largest export market, overtaking Europe by 2021. Asia is expected to dominate Indian spice exports for 2016-2021, with more than 95% of exports going to Asian countries such as Japan, Singapore and Thailand, according to Euromonitor International data. Unlike other spices like pepper or cinnamon which have high per capita consumption in their place of origin, Indians consume much lower amounts of traditional spices like cardamom or cumin due to religious restrictions on some spice types.