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    Groundnut demand back to pre-Covid levels as export orders grow

    Synopsis

    “With the bumper groundnut crop during kharif 2020, we are cheaper than other origins like the US and Argentina. Enquiries are coming and contracts are being signed. We see an increase of about 10% over last year and it can further increase but will depend on our exchange rate,” said Tanna.

    China is buying more because its own groundnut output has fallen, said Kishore Tanna, groundnut panel convener, Indian Oilseed and Produce Export Promotion Council (IOPEPC).
    New Delhi: Groundnut demand has returned to the pre-Covid-19 level and exports are expected to increase 10% in 2020-21, as exporters are getting good orders from China, Southeast Asia and Europe.

    China is buying more because its own groundnut output has fallen, said Kishore Tanna, groundnut panel convener, Indian Oilseed and Produce Export Promotion Council (IOPEPC).

    “With the bumper groundnut crop during kharif 2020, we are cheaper than other origins like the US and Argentina. Enquiries are coming and contracts are being signed. We see an increase of about 10% over last year and it can further increase but will depend on our exchange rate,” said Tanna.

    China levies 15% import duty on Indian groundnut but has no levy on supply from Africa. “This year, due to Covid restriction, a lot of the current trade from India is directly going to China,” said Tanna.

    Traders said exports can rise further if freight rates fall and more containers and vessels are available.

    Exports of branded roasted and flavoured peanuts have also picked up, said Rahul Agrawal, director at Jabsons Foods.

    India exported 34,535 tonnes of groundnut in August, as against 19,225 tonnes a year ago, said Tanna. In the April-August period, groundnut exports were 13% higher year-on-year to 174,610.53 tonnes, valued at Rs 1,571.61 crore, he said.

    India’s groundnut output is expected to increase about 13% this year to 77,28,597 tonnes, according to an IOPEPC estimate. Gujarat is leading the production, followed by Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

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