Kochi: Indian turmeric exports have been hit by the US sanctions against Iran, the largest buyer of the spice from India.
“In the absence of Iran, there are no big orders for Indian turmeric. Bangladesh is now buying but not in large quantities,’’ said Ajay K Tahiliani, partner of Asian Food Industries, an exporter of spices.
Exports to Iran have come to a standstill since May with the expiry of the US sanctions waiver to India for six months. This has happened after a record turmeric export of over 1,20,000 tonnes in 2018-19, as per the trade figures.
“The dollar embargo by the US has hit turmeric exports,’’ said Deepak Mazumdar, director of Deepkamal Exports. Earlier, India used to deal with Iran in rupees.
In 2017-18, Iran’s share was over 13,000 tonnes out of the total turmeric export of 1,07,300 tonnes. This has gone up last year. As per the Spices Board figures available for nine months to December 2018, turmeric shipments at 1,02,000 tonnes had shown 27% increase over the same period in the previous year.
August futures for delivery of turmeric at National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange stood at ₹69.50 per kg on Friday evening. Prices are expected to dip further with the slowdown in exports before going up due to festival season demand. “The prices will depend on how the domestic market will behave,’’ Mazumdar said.