The export of Indian baby corn is progressing well. The product is available all year round, but May and June can be difficult months due to water scarcity. Fortunately, there was plenty of rain last season, so there is enough water stored. The coronavirus could have an impact on the season, as air freight prices have risen sharply.
According to Kaushal Khakhar, CEO of Kay bee Exports, the baby corn season is in good shape this year, even with the difficult months ahead. “In India, baby corn is readily available in large quantities during all 365 days of the year. Also thanks to the favourable weather conditions this year, the season has been strong, with high demand and annual delivery programs for our customers. The months of May and early June are the difficult months, in which water shortage plays a role. Due to the good rainfall in the previous season, however, there is enough stock of stored water this year.”
Kaushal says that about 90-95% of baby maize exported from India goes to the UK: “Baby maize is one of Kay Bee Exports’ flagship vegetables in which we have gained strong expertise since our company was founded more than 30 years ago. On average, we export about 200 tons of baby corn every month to different countries around the world. The United Kingdom certainly stands out because it takes about 90% to 95% of the baby maize exported by India. This is a bit unusual, because we see that all EU countries have a similar pattern of consumption, but it seems that baby corn is quite popular in the UK rather than in other European countries.”
“Although the season looks good so far, there are still factors that can influence the season,” explains Kaushal. “Starting today and despite the upturn of Covid-19 in India last month, the season has been very encouraging with higher yields exported to date and annual programs planned with our customers for the coming months that assure us these high yields will remain stable.”
Fortunately for Kay bee Exports, the horticulture sector will be one of the least affected sectors, as it is exempt from the lockdown restrictions. “Agriculture has been classified as an essential service in India, and the government has been very active and very helpful to make sure that there is no interruption of the transport of the products. Even during very strict lockdowns, our vehicles could circulate smoothly. As far as air cargo is concerned, we do not expect any disruptions to the availability of flights, even though air cargo capacity has been significantly reduced. The airlines operate cargo flights or passenger flights (but without passengers). Thus, despite the restrictions on passenger traffic, freight traffic is continuous.”