India can boast as the monopoly supplier of spices, spice oils and oleoresins the world over. In the case of curry powders, spice powders, spice mixtures and packed spices too, the country is in a formidable position. India exports more than 0.40 million tons of spices annually and account for around 48% of the global export volume and 44% of the export value.
Chilly, Turmeric, Pepper, Cummin, Coriander, Ginger, Cardamom, Tamarind, Cloves, Fenugreek, Fennel, Celery, Garlic, Vanilla, Nutmeg & Mace, Asafoetida, Cinnamon, Cambodge, Cassia, Saffron, Oils & Oleoresins, Mint products and Curry Powder are the major Spice items exported from the country.
During the year 2007-08, the export earnings from spices have surpassed the $1 billion mark for the first time and registered an all time high both in terms of quantity and value in spice exports. The export of spices from India during the year has been 444250 ton valued at $1101.80 million registering an increase of 39% in value over 2006-07.
Kerala, which is the Spices Garden of India, is home to all major items of export like Pepper, Cardamom, Ginger, Turmeric, Curry powder, Spice oils and Oleoresins, Vanilla, Nutmeg and mace.
During 2006-07, the State’s share to total Pepper export from the country was above 88% both in quantity and value. The export of Vanilla from Kerala increased from 22.18 ton in 2005-06 to 56.75 ton in 2007-06 and earned Rs.635.39 lakhs against Rs.405.35 lakhs in the previous year, achieving 56.75% increase in value and 155.9% increase in quantity.
The export of spices from Kerala is mainly through Cochin and Trivandrum Ports. The major destination of spice exports is USA followed by the European Union, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Japan and the Middle East.