Covid-19 impact : Indian honey attracts new buyers from Japan, South Korea and Australia

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New Delhi: Buyers from Japan, South Korea and Australia are turning to India for honey,
which they imported from China, industry executives said.
“A number of global buyers who want to hedge their positions are now looking at India as an alternate market to China to source honey in bulk and bottled form. It’s a good
opportunity for us,” said Pankaj Mishra, CEO of New Delhi­based Apis India.
Exporters said the weaker rupee was also making Indian honey more attractive. India
exports 60% of its production to the US, Canada, Africa and West Asia. “Honey orders may also increase from the US, as our prices become competitive
compared to China. Indian honey quality is superior to China, but their prices are very low.
Now with the rupee depreciation, we will get an edge,” said Surinder Pal Singh, MD of
Mohali­based Ess Pee Quality Products.
Exporters said that they were getting incentives under the Vishesh Krishi Gram Udyog
Yojna (VKGUY) to claim duty credit scrips equivalent at 5% of free­on­board (FOB) value of exports. We have proposed to the government to consider 10% rebate under the Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) to enable
exporters to cover a part of their losses and changing the current scheme into a direct cash incentive to make things easier, Amit
Dhanuka, CEO of Kejriwal Bee Care India, said.
Honey exports from India grew 19% year­on­year in 2018­19 to 61,333.88 tonnes, valued at Rs 732.16 crore, according to APEDA.
Interest on existing working capital limits and term loans should be waived off, or alternatively, interest subvention may be given up to September 30, 2020, and thereafter reduced to the prime lending rate, was another demand of the industry.