History of Spices
Spice trade is almost as old as human civilization. It is said that trade of spices has been present in the Middle East for around 4000 years. In 1498, when Vasco de Gama made his first successful sea Viagem from Europe to India, not only did he found the home of spices but also started the first trade route between India and Europe. During those days in Europe, spices were as valuable as gold and gems.
India is a place known as the origin of spices or to be specific ‘Home of Spices’. Since ancient and medieval time India is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of spices
Around 109 variety of spices are listed by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) out of which 75 varieties are produced and exported by India itself and also, it accounts more than half of the global trading in spices. Among all the spices exporters in India chilli, mint, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, pepper, ginger are the most exported spices.
Global Market Scenario:-
As the number of spice exporters in India is increasing so is the revenue generated by it. India’s export of spices grew up to $3.7 billion which accounts for about Rs 28100 crore in 2019. Dry ginger and green cardamom were the most exported spice and accounted for 47-52 per cent of exports.
Indian spices are not only exported in the whole form but also powdered form forming a blended of garam masala. Powdered spices like red chilli powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder are also exported in large quantities.
Shares of major spices exported from India:-
Major Export Destinations:-
For all the spice manufacturers, spice suppliers and spice exporters in India it is very important to know where is the demand for the products they are willing to sell. Even for the people who are thinking of entering this business should know which spices are sold where at what price and how? Here are top countries which possess the highest ratio of import of Indian spices and are generating a great amount of revenue for our country.
The demand for Indian spices tops in the USA followed by China, Vietnam, Iran, Thailand, Hongkong, UAE, Bangladesh, UK, Malaysia.
During the last decade, USA imported spices worth $551.78 million, while Vietnam imported $424.7 millions worth of spices. Around $2,267.67 Million US dollar worth spices have been exported from India since last decade.
Top 10 countries to import spices from India (By Value)
Top Exported Spices From India
1. Red Chilli & Red Chilli Powder
Dry Red Chilli is sun-dried matured green chilli mainly used to enhance the colour and taste of various cuisines. These chillis always are high in demand because of its freshness, purity and rich & hot taste. India is the highest producer and exporter of dry red chilli. Red chillies are grown across 792,000 hectors of land in Karnataka, Andhra Pradhesh Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Every year 30-40% of the harvested chillies are exported from India and forms 72.93% of world exports. Around 468,500 tonnes of chilli was exported from India in last year itself. Top importers of dry red chillies from India are Vietnam, China, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Apart from Dry red chilli, red chilli powder is also one of the most consumed and exported product. The red chilli powder can be used directly in many cuisines or even mixed with different masalas to enhance its taste. Also, chillis have many uses apart from food like in cosmetics, liquor, self-defence weapons, pharmaceuticals etc.
2. Cumin Seeds and Cumin Powder
Currently due to the high demand of cumin seeds and powder number of cumin exporters are largely increasing in India. Cumin seeds also known as ‘Jeera’ in India is the most basic and highly popular spice added in almost every Indian dish. Not only in India but cumin is widely used in Mexican cuisines too. Approximately 90% for cumin is harvested in the farms of Gujarat and Rajasthan itself. Cumin exporters are already getting orders of about $2200- $2500 per tonne from foreign counties. During last year 180,300 tonnes of cumin was exported from India. Saudi Arabia and the USA are the major importers of cumin from India.
3. Turmeric and Turmeric Powder
Turmeric is the most effective nutritional supplement. Many scientists have proven that turmeric provides major benefits to both brain and body. India is been using this herb from thousands of years as a spice and in medicines.
Currently, India is the largest exporter of turmeric and turmeric powder in the whole world. Nearly 133,600 tonnes of turmeric is been exported every year forming $236 million US dollars. Turmeric ranks third of all the spices exported from India. The major importer of turmeric and turmeric powder is North America. Also, other importing countries are UAE, Iran, Sri Lanka, UK, Malaysia, Japan and South Africa.
Due to an increase in demand of Curcumin (a substance found in turmeric) spice exporters in India are in great benefit. Curcumin is used in pharmaceutical industries, food and cosmetics because of which its need is rapidly increasing globally.
4. Green Cardamom
Green Cardamom also known as ‘ELAICHI’ is the third most expensive spice after Vanilla and Saffron. It is among the most desired of the spices in the entire spice market and the spice suppliers and spice manufacturers in India. It is one of the oldest spice and has a strong, pungent taste, with intense aroma and coolness quite similar to mint. This little spice is used in many food items and even in drinks due to its rich taste and coolness.
India produces maximum cardamom and most cardamom manufacturers in India are from southern states like Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. These states possess a perfect climate for growing cardamom.
The major importing countries include Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, China, USA, Singapore and Netherlands. India exports 860 tonnes of cardamom worth $ 112.79 million per year.
5. Black Pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, known as a peppercorn, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. Black pepper is exported all over the world. The data obtained from an export analysis shows that almost 103 countries import black pepper from India.
The top five countries importing black pepper from India are the USA, Sweden, UK, Canada and Italy. They form 69.79% which is USD 12.13 million of the total export value of black pepper. Approximately 16,840 tonnes of black pepper are exported yearly.
In India black pepper is native of South India and is extensively cultivated there and other tropical regions. This spice is widely used in cosmetics, bakery, sweets, chocolates, and essential oils
6. Dry Ginger
Dry Ginger is the fibrous root, having a shiny, smooth light brown skin. It is widely used as a seasoning and flavouring sweets like cakes, cookies, bread and beverages. Not only there, but ginger is also an essential part of many food items like meat, seafood and vegetable dishes.
India ranks second in exporting ginger after China. It exports Ginger worth USD 23.42 million each year which forms approximately 56.4% of the total export value of ginger. The USA, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, UK and Netherlands are major ginger importing countries.
Karnataka, Orrisa, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Gujarat produces maximum ginger in India and forms 65% of country total ginger production.