India broke into the top 10 list of agricultural produce exporters in 2019 with a sizeable share in the export of rice, cotton, soya beans and meat, according to a World Trade Organization (WTO) report on the trends in world agricultural trade in the past 25 years.
In 2019, Mexico and India, with 3.4% and 3.1% share in global Agri exports, respectively, replaced Malaysia (7th) and New Zealand (9th) as the largest exporters, while the US, which topped the list in 1995 (22.2%), was overtaken by the European Union in 2019 (16.1%). The US’s share fell to 13.8% in 2019. Brazil maintained its ranking as the third-largest exporter, increasing its share from 4.8% in 1995 to 7.8% in 2019. China climbed from the sixth spot in 1995 (4%) to fourth in 2019 (5.4%).
The top rice exporters in 1995 included Thailand (38%), India (26%) and the US (19%). In 2019, India (33%) overtook Thailand (20%) to top the list, while Vietnam (12%) overtook the US to the third spot. The top 10 exporters accounted for more than 96% of exports in both 1995 and 2019.
India is also the third-largest cotton exporter (7.6%), and the fourth-largest importer (10%) in 2019. It had not featured in the top 10 list in 1995. In the largest traded Agri product, soya beans, India (0.1%) has a meagre share but was ranked ninth in the world. In the “meat and edible meat offal” category, India was ranked eighth in the world with a 4% share in global trade. While India was the seventh-largest wheat and meslin exporter in 1995, it does not feature in the top 10 list in 2019.However, India lagged behind as a value-added contributor to world Agri exports. India’s share of foreign value-added content in its Agri exports was also low at 3.8% primarily due to high tariffs on Agri imports to protect the domestic market.
In a report, “Reforms to promote Agri exports” released earlier this year, the commerce ministry had said that the government’s consistent and concerted endeavours to usher in reforms to boost agricultural exports have been highly fruitful.
“Despite the unprecedented global pandemic, India has been able to step in to meet the increased global demand, emerging as a significant global supplier of food and other essential agricultural products,” the ministry added.