Domestic and export demand for turmeric is rising because it is seen as an immunity-boosting product.
With orders pouring in from the Middle East, the US, Europe and Southeast Asia, prices have risen 4% to Rs 60-62 a kg in the past week, and may increase another 10% by September, said Rajesh Daliya, president of Nizamabad Merchants Association in Telangana.
“Exporters are signing new contracts to cater to Dubai, Malaysia, Iran, US and Europe market. In the last few weeks, we have received major demand from Bangladesh where the turmeric was sent by rail rakes,” said Daliya.
Spices are being used as immunity boosters to avoid infection and demand is continuously increasing now that the spice factories have started opening up after the lockdown, said Ajay Kedia, director at Kedia Advisory. “The rupee weakness is also helping the spice exports. Currently, the export quality turmeric price in major mandis like Erode and Nizamabad is at Rs 60 kg and we can expect prices to be Rs 66 a kg by August-September,” he said.
Out of the estimated total production of 938,955 tonnes in 2019-20, annual exports till December 2019 were tentatively 101,500 tonnes, said traders. India is the world's largest producer of turmeric and produces 70-75% of world's total production, they added.
In 2020-21, turmeric exports will rise at least 15%, even though sales in the first quarter of the year were less, said U Karthik, general secretary at Federation of India Spices Stakeholders.
“The 3% rebate under the merchandise export incentive scheme has helped us to increase the exports. Also, the guideline by the ministry of Ayush on the countless health benefits has pushed the usage of turmeric in juices and immunity booting drinks in the domestic market,” Karthik said.
Contracts for both dry and fresh turmeric were being met by exporters. “Demand has increased strongly since April for fresh turmeric in retail chains in the UK, Germany and Holland. With Starbucks selling turmeric milk, the trend has caught up globally and we saw a five-fold increase in our exports of fresh turmeric,” said Kaushal Khakhar, CEO of Kay Bee Exports, which exports 5 tonnes of turmeric every week to the European market.