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  • Indian agarbathi export likely to grow by 15% in FY 2022-23

    Published on March 28, 2022

    The Indian agarbathi industry has always been a significant contributor to the country’s booming export economy. Though India is one of the largest users of incense sticks, agarbathis are witnessing a high demand overseas as well. Currently, the top 4 countries that are importing agarbathi from India are The United States of America, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and Nigeria.  As the West has been showing a keener interest in Ayurveda, Yoga, various forms of meditation and Oriental ideas of wellness, the humble Indian incense stick, too, has witnessed a growing popularity in these countries. These markets have a wide range of top-notch fragrances to choose from, such as sandal, lily, aqua, lavender, mogra, rose, champa and lemon which come with oriental, floral and cosmetic overtones.

    While India’s Agarbathi industry has traditionally been regarded as a small scale cottage industry, the export figures paint a completely different picture.  India is not only dominating the export market with its premium quality incense sticks but also giving a stiff competition to countries like China which are offering mediocre products in high volumes. This growth can be attributed to factors such as easy access to choicest raw materials and availability of abundant work force at affordable wages.

    Currently, incense sticks are exported to over 150 nations from India and enjoy a persistent demand worldwide regardless of the changing economic and political climate. Moreover, the industry has been getting adequate support from the Government of India in terms of introducing policies and regulations that directly and indirectly benefit local producers, thereby promoting commerce and export. The recent move by the government on ‘PM’s Gati Shakti project – National Master Plan for Multi-modal connectivity’ is likely to help in improving the infrastructure of the supply-chain industry and easing the entire process for better mobility of goods and services, especially for the exports.

    Agarbathi exports from India totaled $498.02 million between 2012 and 2016, which was an accomplishment. Additionally, exports grew at a Compounded Annual Rate of roughly 11.5% over this period, totaling to over $100.02 million in the value of growth, which is a quantum jump for any industry to have accomplished in such a short span of time.

    Today, the overall Indian agarbathi industry which was traditionally growing at a CAGR of 3.6%, is witnessing double-digit growth every year. It is currently pegged at ₹8,500 crore, of which exports would account for a substantial ₹1,000 crore. Furthermore, by the end of the fiscal year 2023, agarbathi exports have been anticipated to go up by an additional 15%. 

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