Groundnut exports from India may fall by close to 30 per cent this financial year even as the new export norms set by a central agency is proving to be a deterrent for small processing units and exporters.
The norms set by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) requires all groundnut processing units to register for export of groundnut and groundnut products. India’s groundnut exports for 2012-13 are estimated to be around 600,000 tonnes against about 850,000 tonnes a year ago.
“What Apeda has done was required for long as the government had received complaints from importing countries about the quality of Indian groundnut. But this year, we expect groundnut exports to dip by around 30 per cent to 600,000 tonnes,” said Rajesh Bheda, chairman, Indian Oilseed and Produce Export Promotion Council (IOPEPC), a trade body recognised by the Union ministry of commerce.
Apeda has made it mandatory for groundnut processors to register with IOPEPC before March 31. IOPEPC will then submit the data to Apeda’s online software, peanut.net.
“Exporters shall ensure that all peanuts and peanut products (PPP) units from whom they source the produce have made their data available to IOPEPC for submission to Peanut.net by March 31 since Customs would only accept Certificate of Export through Peanut.net from April 1, as advised by Apeda to them,” Apeda stated in its directions.
Most groundnut processing units are located in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. While most processing units have lesser capacities, many of them have objected to the Apeda directions fearing, increase in cost and loss of business to the larger players.
Groundnut shelling units in Gujarat have formed the Gujarat Oilseeds Processors Association (GOPA) to oppose new rules for groundnut export.
“Groundnut export from India has increased from 300,000 tonnes to 850,000 tonnes in the last three years. Countries like China, Indonesia and the Philippines are already buying from India. At a time when we are growing, the new rules will destroy the small shelling units,” said said Mukund Shah, president of GOPA.
According to IOPEPC, a large number of small groundnut processing units can take the benefit of subsidy, which is available under Apeda’s scheme for certification.
According to data provided by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, India’s groundnut (shelled) exports stood at around 821,000 tonnes for 2011-12, while in 2012-13 (till September) the exports stood at 330,141 tonnes.
India’s exports had surged sharply in 2011-12 from the past five-year average of around 400,000 tonnes, because of a crop failure in groundnut producing countries such as China and Argentina. “This year, there is not much favourable to India as crop is good in the US and Argentina. Also, the prices are much less than the Indian prices. This will also affect Indian exports,” said Bheda of IOPEPC.