Export and Import of Agricultural Commodities in India - 2020-21

India has a diversed economy and is a major contributor to the global food basket, thanks. 

As per WTO’s Trade Statistics, the share of India’s agricultural exports and imports in the world agriculture trade in 2017 was 2.27% and 1.90%, respectively. 

India is among the world’s leading producers of many commodities such as dairy, cereals, spices, fruits & vegetables, rice, wheat, cotton, and others. 

Apart from fulfilling domestic demand, Indian agricultural produce that includes horticultural produce, and processed foods are exported to more than 100 countries in the world including the US, countries in the Middle East, and the EU. 

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the smooth functioning of the agriculture sector was ensured by issuing relevant guidelines. 

There was a considerable improvement in the food grain production and the COVID-19 induced movement restrictions worldwide did not affect India’s agri-exports as they did with other commodities and it's contribution in GDP had also increased.

With respect to agri-imports, India majorly imports vegetable oils, fresh fruits, pulses, and spices. 

Data pertaining to agriculture exports and imports for this story has been collated from the monitoring dashboard of the department of commerce. 

India’s agriculture exports increased by 7 times and imports by 8 times, in last 15 years.

India has consistently maintained a trade surplus in agricultural commodities over the years. India’s agri-exports increased from Rs. 38,078 crores in 2004-05 to Rs. 2.7 lakh crores in 2018-19. 

However, in 2019-20, there was a decline in export by around 8%. Between April 2020 and February 2021 of 2020-21, India’s agri-exports have already crossed the 2019-20 levels, indicating growth in agri-exports for 2020-21 in line with the earlier trends. 

Likewise, the import of agricultural products has also increased over the years. In 2004-05, agri-imports were worth Rs.18,924 crores which incresed up to Rs. 1.68 lakh crores in 2016-17, recording a growth of almost 8 times

However, since 2016-17, the value of imports dropped to reach Rs. 1.42 lakh crores in 2018-19. 

In 2019-20, India’s agri-imports were worth Rs.1.51 lakh crores and in 2020-21, up to 28 February 2021, the imports were worth Rs.1.44 lakh crores.

Comparison of exports of agriculture and allied commodities by value during the first 11 months of 2019-20 and 2020-21 shows that the exports during April 2020 and February 2021 were Rs. 2.69 lakh crore as compared to Rs. 2.27 lakh crore during the same period in 2019-20, indicating an increase of 18.4%.

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