Sri Lanka’s cloves exports in the first two months of this year was nearly three times the figure of total exports made last year, data showed.
While 3,073 metric tons (mts) of cloves were exported in the first two months of the year, the total number of cloves exported last year was 1,331 mts.
Spices & Allied Products Producers’ & Traders Association (SAPPTA) in their recent newsletter said that this was because of a good crop in December. As the 2009 crop had been extremely poor, exports from Sri Lanka dropped considerably last year, it said.
Most of the quantities go to India where Sri Lanka enjoys a zero tariff, as against a tariff of 28-30% on cloves entering India from Africa and Indonesia. Meanwhile Sri Lanka exported 700 mts of pepper in the first two months of the year, while total exports of this commodity last year were 5,725 mts.*
Most of the exports have been to India under the advance license scheme and to “export oriented units” for processing and re-exporting. No exports have taken place under the Indo-Lanka Free Trade Agreement since the introduction of a cap in 2006, restricting imports to India to 2,500 mts.
According to the International Pepper Council (IPC), in its sessions held in Brazil in December of last year, global production of pepper was 337,974 mts; of which figure Sri Lanka’s contribution was 11,624 mts or 3.4% of the global figure.
Global exports were 263,851 mts, of which Sri Lanka’s contribution was 5,155 mts* or 1.9%. *There is a slight mismatch between Sri Lanka Customs and IPC statistics.