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Business Economy

Strong demand in US for Indian Agri and food products

New Delhi, Oct 20 (UNI) Shipment of agricultural and food products from India to the US has seen a rise this year, signalling higher exports in the coming days, as the two countries negotiate greater market access and a limited trade deal.
There has been a rise in demand especially for rice, spices, essential oils and extracts for medical use. This led to the exports to the US that spiking 15 per cent in July, as compared to the same period a year ago, data show.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this month said India's agricultural exports rose by 23 per cent in March-June, despite the stringent lockdown.
Interestingly, this has been the case with exports to the US when both countries were faced with the virulent Covid-19 pandemic, trade sources say.
Mohit Singla, Chairman, Trade Promotion Council, says that trade ties between India and the US are stronger than ever for the food sector, and this is reflected in the increased demand which he believes is "sustainable."
The Modi government has initiated farm sector reforms which the International Monetary Fund hailed last week and also launched an Agri Export Policy to harness the export potential of the sector.
Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal terms farm sector reforms as "far-reaching" and says they will boost exports.
"India's exports to the US are growing very rapidly in the last two-three months, " he said last month.
Singla and others in the business say that the policy reforms and amendment in Essential Commodities Act have created a "supportive ecosystem" In the country that would see a surge in demand for Indian food products around the globe.
The US is a top destination for processed food products. India is seeking greater market access for its numerous food produces like papaya, pineapple and pomegranate.
The Trump administration has been asking access to the Indian market for its farm equipment, auto products and medical devices.
These are being thrashed out in bilateral negotiations. Goyal told a US-India Strategic Partnership Forum meeting last month that India is ready to ink a limited trade package with the US, as it is caught up in an election, due in two weeks, and the corona pandemic.
"India will gain very significantly if we do the limited trade deal," he said later.
The two countries want to sign a Free Trade Agreement in the long run.
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