Indian agri-exports to EU up, says new report


Brussels : India exported 1.4 billion euro worth of agri-food products to the European Union in 2006, up from just over 1 billion euro in 2003, according to the latest Monitoring Agri-trade Policy (MAP) report published by the European Commission Wednesday.

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The volume is equivalent to two percent of the EU’s global agri-food imports and is just half the value of the EU’s imports from China. India ranks the 12th most important EU supplier. Cashew nuts, coffee, rice, castor oil and tea account for 43 percent of the value of the EU’s imports from India.

Some of these products already enter the EU market duty free (basmati rice) or with a low tariff (5 percent for oils). Overall 97 percent of imports from India enter duty free or with a tariff lower than 30 percent.

Figures show that the value of agricultural exports from the EU to India is only about 250 million euro. India accounts for less than 0.5 percent of the EU’s total agricultural exports.

In 2006 the EU’s wheat exports to India were worth 120 million euro, equivalent to one-third of the value of EU exports. India is an intermittent importer of EU wheat. Having been a small net exporter of wheat since 1999-00, India became a net importer in 2006-07.

Scotch whisky exports were worth 32 million euro, around 13 percent of exports. Exports of raw wool and hides for further processing in the Indian textile industry were valued at 18 million euro and 14 million euro respectively.

Dried peas exports were valued at 11 million euro. Other specialised products exported to India include vegetable seeds (6 million euro), wine and olive oil (both valued at around 4 million euro).

The Commission report underlines that India is to play a bigger role in world markets in agriculture products in the future.

It forecasts that India will consolidate its position among the world’s leading exporters of rice. Currently it is the second largest rice producer after China and the third largest net-exporter after Thailand and Vietnam.

India is the world leader in such specialist products as buffalo milk, spices and bananas, mangoes and chickpeas, which are important in the Indian diet and are also exported, according to EuAsiaNews agency.

India is the fifth largest cultivator of biotech crops in the world, ahead of China.