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Cardamom crosses Rs 1,800 a kg on rise in demand, drop in output.

Date: 26-04-2019
Subject: Cardamom crosses Rs 1,800 a kg on rise in demand, drop in output
Kochi: Rising demand and a plunge in output may drive small cardamom prices to record level this year. The average prices crossed Rs 1,800 per kg on Wednesday while the premium variety touched Rs 2,000 per kg. The local prices have been ruling above Rs 1,200 per kg for several months. 

“Last time the prices touched such a level was back in 2011. Chances are the prices may go up further in the coming months as the next crop is anticipated to be lower,” said PC Mathew, general secretary of Cardamom Growers Association. The May contract for delivery in MCX traded at Rs 1,746.50 per kg on Wednesday The prolonged dry weather in the past few months led to drying of the plants. The current spell of summer rains may not help. “About 30-40 per cent of the crop have been damaged. What is left will grow. As a result, the harvest season is likely to get extended from the usual July-August period,” said KK Saseendra Babu, MD of Vandanmedu Green Gold Cardamom Producer. Last year, production was 50 per cent lower at 10,000 tonnes. The coming crop is expected to be slightly lower as per the current situation. High local demand and export have spurred the price rally. Export to Saudi Arabia, the largest consumer, ground to a halt a year ago with the country banning food products containing pesticide residue. But exporters say the country has given approval for import of consignments with certificates from laboratories approved by it. 

But small quantities are getting exported to other Gulf countries like Dubai, Kuwait and Doha. They are purchasing at a higher price before the Ramadan fasting begins by mid- May. “I have been supplying at a higher rate of $23-24 per kg. But with local prices increasing to over Rs 1,750 per kg the export prices may rise to $26 per kg, But they are willing to buy at that rates as no other good quality cardamom is available in the market now,” said major exporter SPGR Nityanandan. 

Source: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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