That dollar amount reflects a 22.1% gain from $7.9 billion in 2017.
Year over year, the value of exported spices dropped by -10.8% compared to $9.9 billion for 2020.
The top 5 best-selling exported spices ranked by overall sales are ginger, cinnamon, peppercorn, cardamoms and vanilla. Collectively, the value of those exported spice commodities represents over half (56.8%) of spices sold on international markets in 2021.
For research purposes, the Harmonized System (HS) codes for pepper is 090412, peppercorn is 090422, vanilla are 090510/20, cinnamon are 090611, 090619 and 090620, cloves are 090710 and 090720, nutmeg are 090811 an 090812, mace are 090821 and 090822, cardamoms are 090831 and 090832, coriander seeds are 090921 and 090922, cumin seeds are 090931 and 090932, ginger are 091011 and 091012, saffron is 091020, turmeric is 091030, spice mixtures is 091091, and miscellaneous other spices is 091099.
Top Exported Spices by Global Sales
Listed below are the most valuable spice exports in 2021 ranked by total international sales for each product category.
Also shown is percentage that each entry represents based on the overall value of crushed or ground exported spices.
- Ginger: US$1.2 billion (12.8% of global total)
- Cinnamon: $1.1 billion (11.3%)
- Peppercorn: $1.099 billion (11.3%)
- Cardamoms: $1.090 billion (11.2%)
- Vanilla: $968.1 million (10%)
- Miscellaneous other spices: $964.4 million (9.9%)
- Cumin seeds: $644.1 million (6.6%)
- Mixtures of different spices: $614.7 million (6.3%)
- Cloves: $429.7 million (4.4%)
- Turmeric: $361.7 million (3.7%)
- Pepper: $329.5 million (3.4%)
- Saffron: $287.7 million (3%)
- Nutmeg: $245.7 million (2.5%)
- Coriander seeds: $211.8 million (2.2%)
- Mace: $104.7 million (1.1%)
Posting double-digit percentage gains from 2020 to 2021 were export sales of nutmeg (up 23.2%), mace (up 18.2%), peppercorn (up 15.7%), cloves (up 13.2%) and miscellaneous other spices (up 10.6%).
There were four double-digit decliners, led by the mint-like spice cardamoms (down -28.7% from 2020) used for sweet and savoury dishes particularly in Asia. Other major losers were saffron (down -11.7%), cumin seeds (down -11.6%) and ginger (down -10.8%).
Most Valuable Exported Spices by Unit Value
Below are the most valuable crushed or ground spices as measured by average unit price per ton shipped.
The average unit value for the listed crushed or ground spices is US$7,476 per ton in 2021. That average unit value for spices is down by -26.5% from an average $10,176 one year earlier.
Ranked in descending order, listed below are the crushed or ground spices with the highest unit values in 2021.
- Mace: US$24,184 per ton (Up 23.5% from 2020)
- Cardamoms: $17,946 per ton (Up 10.7%)
- Cloves: $8,364 per ton (Up 13.0%)
- Pepper: $8,249 per ton (Up 110.1%)
- Nutmeg: $8,186 per ton (Up 5.2%)
- Cinnamon: $4,795 per ton (Down -1.8%)
- Cumin seeds: $3,418 per ton (Up 6.2%)
- Ginger: $2,307 per ton (Down -14.8%)
- Peppercorn: $2,300 per ton (Down -13.2%)
- Coriander seeds: $1,588 per ton (Down -1.7%)
- Vanilla: $901 per ton (Down -97.9%)
The first 5 listed crushed or ground spices attracted unit values higher than the worldwide average of $7,476 per ton.
Among the greatest inflation in terms of unit value per ton from 2020 to 2021 were garnered by crushed or ground pepper (up 110.1% from 2020), mace (up 23.5%), cloves (up 13%) and cardamoms (up 10.7%).
Enduring double-digit percentage declines in unit value per ton were crushed or ground vanilla (down -97.9% from 2020), ginger (down -14.8%) and peppercorn (down -13.2%).
Biggest Exports of Spices by Weight
Shifting our focus to the shipment weight, a total 890,392 tons in crushed or ground spices were exported during 2021.
The shipped tonnage is listed below for each category of crushed or ground spices.
- Peppercorn: 550,446 tons
- Vanilla: 93,331 tons
- Pepper: 53,971 tons
- Ginger: 53,971 tons
- Cinnamon: 46,473 tons
- Coriander seeds: 30,998 tons
- Nutmeg: 10,971 tons
- Cumin seeds: 24,891 tons
- Cardamoms: 3,359 tons
- Cloves:: 1,664 tons
- Mace: 1,301 tons
The 5 heaviest shipments of crushed or ground spices by tonnage were for peppercorn, vanilla, pepper, ginger and cinnamon. Collectively, that quintet of major spices represents 91.6% of all crushed or ground spices shipped by weight in 2021.
See also Top Garlic Exports by Country, Top Ginger Exporters by Country, Onions Exports by Country, Top Pickles Exporters by Country and Top Salt Exports & Imports by Country Plus Average Prices
Central Intelligence Agency, The World Factbook Field Listing: Exports – Commodities. Accessed on December 7, 2022
International Trade Centre, Trade Map. Accessed on December 7, 2022
Wikipedia, Saffron. Accessed on December 7, 2022
Wikipedia, Spice. Accessed on December 7, 2022
Wikipedia, Turmeric. Accessed on December 7, 2022