Competitiveness and determinants of agricultural exports: evidence from India

The paper examines the relative export competitiveness (REC) of eight agricultural commodities (rice, wheat, maize, gram, groundnut, onion, bovine meat and shrimp) from 1990 to 2020. The findings reveal that India’s export of rice was the most competitive, followed by groundnut, shrimp, gram, onion and bovine meat. The REC has generally been lower for India than its global competitors. It has, however, improved more recently, particularly for rice, groundnut, onion and bovine meat. India’s export competitiveness of agricultural commodities is influenced by the dynamics of domestic and global prices. The panel cointegration analysis shows that higher competitiveness, elevated global prices relative to domestic prices and a stable export policy contribute to improved agricultural export performance. Focusing on improving domestic production through productivity growth, export competitiveness through product differentiation, value addition, access to new markets and branding can promote sustainable growth in agricultural exports.