India’s agricultural exports are up 4.6% year-on-year in dollar terms during April-September. This comes even as the country’s overall merchandise exports for the same period have registered a 21.2% annual decline. It also mirrors a larger trend — of the farm sector doing reasonably well amid an economy that, according to the Reserve Bank of India, is likely to contract by 9.5% in 2020-21 (April-March).

Commodity-wise foreign trade data from the department of commerce shows exports of farm goods from India during April-September at $18.12 billion, 4.6% higher than the $17.32 billion for the first half of 2019-20.

Rice on top:

The star performer has been rice, with the value of shipments increasing by well over a third to $4.08 billion in April-September.

The growth has come more from the non-basmati rather than basmati segment.

Total exports this fiscal are expected to surpass the previous record of 12.7 million tonnes ($7.8 billion) achieved in 2017-18.



A third commodity whose exports have done well this year, and the prospects also look good, is cotton.

In the 2019-20 season (October-September), India exported 50 lakh bales of the natural fibre, compared to 42 lakh bales in the preceding year.

Broader trend:

The general story in most agri-commodities is that world prices, which were hardening in the months just before the pandemic and then crashed with lockdown measures imposed by most countries, have since resumed their earlier trajectory.

  1. unlockdowns (opposite to what happened in April-May)
  2. continuing supply chain disruptions (including from a shortage of shipping containers)
  3. Chinese stockpiling (in anticipation of a fresh corona outbreak during the winter)
  4. dry weather in producer countries such as Thailand, Argentina, Brazil and Ukraine.

Source:”Indian Express”.