Cumin exports from India are likely to cross 2 lakh tonne by the end of the current season, in the next couple of months. Turkey and Syria are the two major producers of cumin, with Afghanistan also cultivating small quantities of cumin.
This year, however, Turkey and Syria have reportedly produced less cumin this season. This has benefiitted Indian cumin exporters, according to Ashwin Nayak founder-chairman of the Federation of Indian Spice Stakeholders, headquartered at Unjha in north Gujarat, and reported by Financial Express.
More than 90% of India’s cumin crop is harvested in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Cumin yield from both states generally arrives at the Unjha Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), one of the biggest agriculture markets in Asia.
“Compared to last year, cumin production in the country is likely to remain 10 to 15% lower. Last year, cumin production was around 92 lakh bags (55 kg per bag) in India. This season, it would be around 85 to 90 lakh bags due to early exit of winter in the cumin-growing areas of Gujarat,” Nayak said to Financial Express.
As per data from the state agriculture department, cumin sowing in Gujarat has gone down to 4.69 lakh hectares from last season’s 4.88 lakh hectares. The Unjha market is receiving nearly 1,000 bags per day from north Gujarat, Saurashtra and parts of Rajasthan.
Prices of good quality cumin are around Rs 2,700 to Rs 2,900 per 20 kg in Unjha, while those of medium quality cumin are around Rs 2,400 to Rs 2,600 per 20 kg.
With over 80% of the total cumin production of the world, India is the biggest exporter of this spice. Most of the exports are to Gulf countries, followed by the US, Europe, China and Latin American countries. Last year, cumin production in Turkey was around 15,000 tonnes. This year, it is estimated to be lower. In Syria, political instability has hampered the farming sector. Afghanistan’s production has increased to 10,000 tonnes compared to around 6,000 tonnes last year.