Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Apr 20, 2002
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Spices & Condiments
Pepper up on tight supply, hectic buying
KOCHI, April 19
PEPPER prices increased further at the terminal market here on tight supply and hectic buying.
Spot prices of MG 1 garbled and ungarbled were quoted at Rs 9,800 and Rs 9,400 per quintal on Thursday as against Rs 8,600 and Rs 8,200 respectively at the start of the week. Futures also witnessed a rise.
Prices of future contracts were May Rs 9,250 (as against Rs 8,450) June Rs 9,175 (Rs 8,375), July Rs 9,175(Rs 8,375), August Rs 9,175(Rs 8,375), September Rs 9,175 (Rs 8,375) and October opened at Rs 9,800 per quintal.
The market ``is firmer internationally and locally because of the tight supply position prevalent world over'', Mr Kishor Shamji, President, India Pepper and Spice Trade Association (IPSTA), told Business Line. Nobody appeared to be ready to sell, he said. The farmers and the traders were holding the stock anticipating further increase in the price.
While the exporters, who had been postponing February, March and April shipments, would have to buy to meet their commitments while those who did not want to loose might have to default.
Vietnam was quoting $1,600 a tonne and it was very firm. Meanwhile, Indonesia is offering its new crop, which would arrive in the market by August at $1,750 per tonne. All these producing countries were quoting prices just $25 less than that of the Indian prices, he said. Ten containers of Vietnamese pepper had arrived at Mumbai port for re-export.
According to him Delhi and Indore-based speculators were active in the market to push up the prices, he said. Surprisingly, people who were not connected with the pepper trade wanted to invest now in commodities, especially pepper, turmeric, cloves, poppy seed etc., he said.
These buyers were active in the primary markets in Kerala's Wayanad and Idukki districts and the pepper growing areas in Karnataka, the arrivals at the terminal market had shrunk to even less than 10 tonnes daily.
Following the introduction of the new rules from April 1 that the buyer as well as the sellers should be registered traders, the business had moved into the primary markets so that tax could be evaded both in Kerala and outside.
If this trend was allowed to continue that might wane the importance of the terminal market besides depriving the states of their revenue, he added.
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