Export Trends of Mushroom
The major varieties of
mushrooms produced in the world are European or white-button mushroom (Agaricus
bisporus), Oyster mushroom or Dhingri (Pleurotus spp), Chinese or paddy-straw
mushroom (Volvariella volvacea), shitake mushroom (Lentinus edodes) and Auricularia
spp. Among these the most widely cultivated species is the Agaricus bisporus,
which accounts for almost 38% of the total mushroom production. About 2,000 varieties of
mushrooms grown in the world are edible. These varieties are grown in diverse regions of
the world. The white-button mushroom is grown in the U.S.A, France and China.
The Oyster mushroom is
concentrated in China, which accounts for over 80% of the production. It is also grown in
South Korea and Italy. India is not a major producer of any of the mushroom varieties, but
it does cultivate mushrooms. The variety gaining maximum importance in India has been the
white-button mushroom, which registered the highest growth rate in production.
Only about 45% of
mushrooms produced are consumed in the fresh form. The rest of the 55% is processed with
5% in the dehydrated form and 50% in the canned form. This is because their shelf life in
the fresh form is very short. Hence mushrooms are traded in the world market mostly in the
Netherlands is the
largest exporter of canned button mushrooms with a market share of about 38.5%. China is
another significant exporter of the processed form of this variety, accounting for almost
30% of world trade. France is another important exporter, contributing to about 13.5% of
the world exports.
As far as the import
market is concerned, the most significant buyer of canned white button mushroom is
Germany. This country alone accounts for almost 40% of the world imports. USA also imports
canned mushroom, accounting for about 19% of the world imports.
Importers of button mushrooms
Out of about 2,000
edible mushrooms known, about 280 species are produced in India. The most important
mushroom collected in India is the Guchhi (Morchella species), which is dried and exported
to Western countries, rather than being consumed domestically.
of canned mushrooms is quite low in India, it has managed to foster exports due to the
huge marketable surpluses. It was only after 1990 that the export level of mushrooms began
to pick up substantially. Currently, although there are only two major exporters of canned
mushroom, namely Flex Foods and Ponds Ltd. and five new companies have entered the market
recently. Countries like the Switzerland and the USA have ranked as comparatively
consistent importers of canned mushrooms from India in the recent years.
Cut flowers export trends
Cultivation of cut
flowers is quite popular in about 145 countries as there is a large global market, which
is as big as US $35 billion in terms of consumption and over US$ 4 billion in terms of
international trade. This includes $ 2.7 billion for cut flowers and $ 1.2 billion for pot
plants. The growth in demand is estimated at around 15%.
There are clear signs
that India can soon play a significant role in the world trade of flowers. With the
liberalization of the economic policies and identifications of the floriculture as one of
the extreme focus segments for development of exports, the Indian entrepreneurs must look
at the opportunities offered by the large global market.
Major importers and
their share of world trade
Spain, Denmark and
Belgium are considered to be front ranking floriculture countries next to the Netherlands
in the European Community. Outside EC, the other important countries producing/exporting
cut flowers are Costa Rica, Thailand, Zimbabwe and Turkey. Indias exports are mainly
to the Netherlands, Middle East and Far East countries. Going through Dutch auctions will
help India to get product acceptance and quality approval. However, the major markets is
very quality conscious and has tough quarantine rules. Our growers will have to work hard
to achieve the highest quality at competitive prices for taking advantage of nearness to
these consumption centres in relation to present suppliers in Europe, South America and
The largest and most
lucrative market has been Europe. It is, however, highly competitive. African and Latin
American countries have already entered and established their business relationship there.
India will, therefore, have to put in special efforts and undertake detailed studies,
develop marketing intelligence and initiate aggressive marketing. This will call for
action on several fronts like maintenance of superior quality, timely and continuous
supply, reasonable cost in the competitive environment and sensing the consumer demand.
Also, distance between the source of cultivation and airport, mode of transport i.e.
refrigerated containers, cold storage facilities at the airport play a very crucial role.
The market exists
mainly during the four months from November to March-April when the production in Europe
is extremely limited due to severe winter. This calls for seeking market elsewhere from
April/May to October so as to ensure year round production and sale. The Middle East and
Far East happens to be better avenues during this period. Also, India has the advantage of
being geographically closer to these markets. So, the time taken for delivery will be
less, the price will be less as compared to the European sources of these markets.
During the fall and
winter seasons in the whole of Europe, snow limits the productions of flowers. Because of
grossly inadequate sunlight and natural heat the investment on the facilities for flower
production in Europe has been estimated as high as Rs.300 to Rs.400 per square feet as
compared to India (where ample sunlight and natural heat are available throughout the
year) at around Rs.75 to Rs.100 per square feet. Besides proportion of labour costs in the
total cost of production of flowers in Europe has been estimated to be 25%. But, India has
a great advantage in this labour intensive business due to the availability of skilled
manpower at low costs.
The opportunity for
export of flowers from India is large, but this can only be exploited with efficient
systems and keeping a tight control over the costs. At this stage there is a great need
for sharing the experiences and problems within different members of the industry. The
time is right for floriculture clubs in different areas and an all India association of
flower growers and exporters. We have to jointly build up the capabilities to come up as
an important flower exporting country. Also, the government procedural constraints should
be removed. The real competition is at the country level in the world market and not at
the enterprise level within the country.
Processed tomato export trends
The production of
processed tomato has been predominantly concentrated in the EEC and North America. These
accounted for almost 75 per cent of the total production in 1992-93. USA accounts for 42.2
percent and Italy producing about 16 per cent of the world production has processed
World trade in
processed tomatoes are in the form of paste, ketchup/sauce, puree and canned tomato. Italy
ranks as the largest exporter of processed tomatoes, making its presence felt on the world
market for all the four processed tomato items. In the case of canned tomato, Spain is
another important exporter. In case of tomato puree too, Italy enjoys close to a monopoly.
On the tomato paste market, while this country is the biggest exporter, Greece comes a
close second. The USA does not figure on the list in any of the major items, even though
it is a substantially large producer of the same, indicating that this country consumes
most of its production of processed tomato items.
The major importers
are USA. This is a significant importer of the processed tomato items, although its
imports are less than 1% of its own domestic production. Some other consistently large
importers are the U.K., France and Germany. The United Kingdom alone imported 304.5
thousand tonnes of processed tomatoes. France imported as much as 175 thousand tonnes of
processed tomatoes in the same period, which amounted to 67 per cent of its total domestic
production in the year. As in the case of the USA, such a phenomenon reveals a huge
domestic market. However, unlike the latter which has been declining over time, the French
market has shown stagnation, except in the case of canned tomato which has shown some
growth, although very nominally. Germany too, figures as a major and consistent importer,
and the market for ketchup and sauce in particular are growing in this country.
India is not a
dominant player in the world market, whether that be in the context of production, imports
or export. India's share in world production is only 0.79 per cent. However, the Indian
tomato processing industry prides itself on being the largest in Southeast Asia. In fact,
the output of the Indian industry is more than twice that of Japan, and considerably
greater that Thailand and Taiwan. Another encouraging trends has been that India's
production level of processed tomato has risen by 50 per cent.
Domestic producers of
this item state that the major institutional customers of tomato paste are restaurants.
The manufacturers of ketchup/sauce account for about 80 per cent of the consumption.
Tomato juice and puree have not yet established themselves firmly in the middle class food
habit, but the demand for ketchup/sauce is slowly growing in this massive segment. So far,
processed tomato products for direct consumption have not found favour among the masses
due to traditional food habits.
tomato is a major trade item in the world, but India does not figure anywhere among the
top exporters of any of its many forms. However, India has been exporting processed tomato
in the form of tomato paste and ketchup. India does possess moderate export
competitiveness on the world market for tomato paste. The domestic market is expanding,
and there is also world demand for this product. Tomato paste is another item in which
India possesses export competitiveness.
processed tomato from India is a relatively recent phenomenon. While exports of tomato
paste only touched the level of 68 thousand tonnes as against the target of one lakh
tonnes, this is a substantial jump from the base of 30 thousand tonnes. This increase of
about 127 per cent in tomato paste exports between 1990-91 and 1991-92 is certainly
encouraging. In terms of value, exports do show an increase of about 122 per cent.
However, it is difficult to conclude anything on this basis. Since the information holds
for both chutney and paste.
While the level of
exports has been rising both in value and volume; India has also begun to export processed
tomato to a variety of countries. For tomato paste and chutney, the USA, Saudi Arabia and
Japan appear to be some major markets. Other forms of preserved tomatoes are exported in
small quantities to Kuwait, Sri Lanka and the U.A.E. Of the various processed tomato
items, the most important form of Indian exports are tomato ketchup/sauce and
paste/chutney. As regards the exact standing of tomato paste among these items, it is
difficult to pin it down, since the information available pertains to both chutney and
licence is required for setting up a food processing unit for domestic production, the 100
per cent Export Oriented Units do need a licence to set up a unit. Moreover, these units
also have to obtain the quality control licence which is valid for all producers of
processed items. While the exporter is permitted to export under such a circumstance, he
does need permission from the MOFPI.
While the need to
import machinery for the food processing sector is acknowledged, and imports of new
capital goods are allowed without any licence or clearance, there remain hindrances here
too. For instance, all purchase of machinery from abroad is subject to 15-25 per cent
import duty, depending on the type of machinery.
The net tax levied on
glass bottles/jars is as high as 30 per cent, and those on open tin containers and MS
Drums are 20 and 30 per cent. Duty drawbacks is available to exporters on the import of
packaging materials. However, the impact of such a policy is attenuated because the duty
drawbacks are returned to exporters after long time gaps, defeating the purpose of the
Trends of the export of seafood in 2000
India has started the
year well. In the first two months of the current fiscal the seafood exports stood at $
167 million compared to $ 140 million during the same period of last year. The increase is
close to 20 per cent. This time again the US demand is increasing as that country is
facing a shortage of shrimps from Equador. Moreover, the shrimp prices have gone up in the