Today, the Indian Embassy in Argentina informed the Foreign Ministry headed by Felipe Solá that it will authorize the opening of its market to yerba mate, following intensive negotiations between both governments and the completion of the final stage of negotiations.
On 4 January 2021, India notified the measure to the Committee on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures of the World Trade Organization, which opened a 60-day period to authorize entry of Argentine yerba mate into its market.
During the first Meeting of the Joint Working Group on Agricultural Cooperation held on 1 July 2020, the Indian delegation had confirmed that the evaluation of the documents presented by the Argentine Service of Agri-food Health and Quality (SENASA) and the pest risk analysis had concluded successfully. This issue was further discussed during the third Meeting of the Joint Trade Committee (CCC) held on 20 October 2020, which unblock negotiations and finally enabled progress towards the opening of that market.
This opens export opportunities to India for Argentine companies that can sell mate blend in bags and for companies that can ship yerba mate in bulk and as teas blended with Indian herbs.
“Our goal is to increase exports. We have therefore developed instruments such as the Federal Council on Foreign Affairs and International Trade, which serves as a coordinator between our representations abroad and the productive sectors of the provinces, and the Public-Private Council, which favours the promotion of exports. Today’s announcement of the Indian market opening up to yerba mate shows that we are on the right path,” Felipe Solá stated.
India, with a population of 1.25 billion, is well-known for the habit of drinking infusions (specially tea), which indicates a promising future for Argentine yerba mate. This announcement will increase the participation of regional economies in trade exchange with India and will advance our goal of diversifying exports to that important market.
According to the latest statistics of the National Institute of Yerba Mate, in January 2021 13,342,933 kilograms of green leaves were harvested, of which 2,928,211 kilograms were exported. Furthermore, the latest publication of the Office of Statistics and Censuses (INDEC) shows that total exports in 2020 contributed USD 94 million for the Argentine economy.
Exports of yerba mate products amounted to USD 94 million in 2020 (0.2% of total exports) up 9.3% from 2019. Yerba mate itself accounted for 92.6% of those exports, while extracts and essences accounted for the remaining 7.4%. The main destinations were the Middle East (USD 64 million) and Chile (USD 16 million).
The opening up of the Indian market to yerba mate was the result of a coordinated effort between the embassies of both countries, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries and SENASA.