India has consistently maintained a trade surplus in agricultural products over the years. India’s agricultural and allied exports during 2019-20 were Rs. 2.52 lakh Crores and imports were Rs. 1.47 lakh Crores. Even, during the difficult time of the Pandemic, India took care not to disturb the world food supply chain and continued to export. The export of Agri and allied commodities during Apr 2020 – Feb 2021 were Rs. 2.74 lakh crore as compared to Rs. 2.31 Crore in the same period last year indicating an increase of 18.49%.
The commodities which posted significant positive growth in exports were wheat, Other Cereals, Rice (other than Basmati), Soya meal, Spices, Sugar, Raw Cotton, Fresh Vegetable, Processed Vegetables, and Alcoholic Beverages etc.
Wheat and other cereals posted huge growth over last year, i.e., increasing from Rs. 425 Crore to Rs. 3283 Crore and Rs. 1318 Crore to Rs. 4542 Crore, respectively. On specific demand from countries, NAFED has exported 50,000 MT wheat to Afghanistan and 40,000 MT wheat to Lebanon under G2G arrangement. India has witnessed tremendous growth of 727 % for Wheat export.
Country has witnessed significant growth of 132% in export of (Non-Basmati) Rice. Export of Non-Basmati Rice has gone up from Rs 13,030 crores in 2019-20 to Rs 30,277 crores in 2020-21.This increase in exports is on account of multiple factors, mainly being India capturing new markets namely, Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Chile, and Puerto Rico. Exportswere also made to Togo, Senegal, Malaysia, Madagascar, Iraq, Bangladesh, Mozambique, Vietnam, Tanzania Rep and Madagascar.
India also enhanced export of Soya meals by 132%. Soya meal has gone up from Rs 3087 crores in 2019-20 to Rs 7224 crores in 2020-21.
Other commodities of Agri& Allied basket witnessing significant increase in export during April, 2020 to February, 2021 as compared to corresponding period during 2019-20, have been Spices (Rs 26257 crore vs Rs 23562 crore; growth 11.44%), Sugar(Rs 17072 crore vsRs 12226 crore; growth 39.64%), Raw Cotton(Rs 11373 crore vsRs 6771 crore; growth 67.96%), Fresh Vegetable (Rs4780 crore vs Rs 4067 crore; growth 17.54%) and Processed Vegetables (Rs 2846 crore vs Rs 1994 crore; growth 42.69%)etc.
The imports of Agri and allied commodities during April, 2020 – Feb, 2021 were Rs. 141034.25 Crore as compared to Rs. 137014.39 Crore in the same period last year witnessing a slight increase of 2.93%.
Despite COVID-19, balance of trade in agriculture has favorably increased during April, 2020 – Feb, 2021 to Rs. 132,579.69 Crore as against Rs. 93,907.76 Crore during the same period in 2019-20.