(Coriandrum sativum), dhania is an annual spice crop and a member of
the Umbelliferae, or carrot family. The coriander plant yields both
the fresh herb and spice seed, which are used primarily for culinary
- The fresh green herb
is called cilantro, or Chinese parsley. It is used in southeast and
southern Asian, Chinese and Mexican cuisine, and for flavouring salads
- The fruits (seeds)
are widely used as condiments with or without roasting in the
preparation of curry powders, sausages and seasonings. It is an
important ingredient in the manufacture of food flavourings, in bakery
products, meat products, soda & syrups, puddings, candy preserves
- The spice is also
employed for the preparation of either the steam-distilled essential
oil or the solvent-extracted oleoresin. Both products are used in the
flavouring and aroma industries.
- The global
production of coriander seed is estimated to be around 6 lakh tonnes.
However, official estimates are rarely available for this crop in most
producing countries. Additionally, coriander is widely grown in home
gardens on a small scale, which is never included in official
- The major global
producers are India, Morocco, Canada, Romania, Russia and Ukraine. The
other producers are Iran, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, China, US, Argentina
- The global trade in
coriander is estimated to be around 0.85 - 1 lakh tonnes a year.
While, India, Turkey, Egypt, Romania, Morocco, Iran and China are the
major exporters. Middle East, South-east Asia, USA, UK, Germany etc
are the major importers.
- India is the biggest
producer, consumer and exporter of coriander in the world with an
annual production averaging around 3 lakh tonnes. The production
fluctuates widely between years and has varied from below 2 lakh
tonnes to above 4 lakh tonnes in this decade.
- Rajasthan (54%) and
Madhya Pradesh (17%) are the two largest producing states in the
country contributing over two-thirds to the country's total production
in 2006-07. The other producers are Gujarat (6.9%), Assam (6.6%),
Andhra Pradesh (3.5%, Karnataka (3.3%), Orissa (3.2%) and Tamil Nadu
- Official estimates
of area and production are released by the Spices Board, India and the
latest estimates available peg India's production in 2006-07 at 2.88
lakh tonnes and area under cultivation at 3.62 lakh hectares. The
production from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are reported at 1.55 and
0.50 lakh tonnes respectively. Rajasthan's coriander production is
estimated to have dipped sharply to around 1.30 lakh tonnes in
2007-08. However, output is 2008-09 is reported to be normal.
- Coriander for seed
cultivation is grown as a rabi crop with sowing undertaken during
October - November and new crop arrivals seen in February - March.
- India annually
exports around 25,000 - 30,000 tonnes of coriander a year. India exported
30,200 tonnes of coriander in 2008 valued at Rs 204 crores in 2008.
The major buyers were Malaysia (7050 tonnes), UAE (5450 tonnes),
Pakistan (3215 tonnes) and Saudi Arabia (2475 tonnes).
- The major domestic
buyers of coriander seed in India are spice processing agencies, which
consume around 50% of the production are mostly located in the
southern states of India and Delhi. The demand from this sector peaks
during April to June, which also coincides with the peak arrival
Major Indian Trading Centres
The major markets are located in Rajasthan and Madhya
Pradesh. The three largest markets are Kota, Ramganj Mandi and Baran in
Market Influencing Factors
- The supply
fluctuates sharply between season and this leads to high price
volatility. The supply is influenced by acreage under the crop,
weather and diseases.
- Weather, especially
absence of frost during flowering and presence of sunshine during
seeding stage plays a major role as it influences the yield and
appearance of the seed. The crop is highly disease-prone and requires
regular care and monitoring.
- The prices have been
displaying only moderate seasonal behaviour in recent years with
prices slightly dipping during the peak arrival months - March to
June. The strong demand from domestic spice processors and export
market has prevented prices from crashing even during the peak
- The seeds can be
stored for only around six-eight months in normal temperature and this
influences availability and prices during the low availability months
- October to January.
- Export demand is
another important price influencing factor as India's surplus
production is very limited. The exports from India have been picking
up in recent years on account of the increased presence of Indians
abroad and rising preference for spicy foods in developed nations.