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Friday, Nov 03, 2006

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Cardamom prices dip on selling pressure

G.K. Nair

Delhi strike `reduces scope for resale'

Kochi , Nov. 2

Cardamom prices showed a declining trend during the week at auctions held in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Selling pressure and weak demand is pointed out as the reasons for the fall in prices.

At the Cardamom Processing and Marketing Company (CPMC) auction at Kumily in Kerala on Wednesday the prices dropped by Rs 20 a kg.

A total quantity of 77 tonnes arrived and almost the entire quantity was sold out.

The quality of the capsules was "very good" and yet the prices failed to pick up, Mr P.C. Punnoose, General Manager, CPMC, told Business Line on Thursday.

The traders' strike in Delhi, a major market for cardamom, has in recent days "reduced the scope for resale", he said. The maximum price fetched on Wednesday was Rs 479 a kg and minimum Rs 202.

The average price dropped to Rs 310 a kg. 8mm bold capsules having good colour was sold at Rs 450 - 475 a kg, while 7.5 mm at Rs 350-375 a kg. 7 mm bold fetched Rs 325 - 350 a kg. Current bulk was sold at Rs 280-300 a kg.

There was no export buying also, Mr Punnoose said.

It is evident from the shipments during September 2006, which fell sharply to 25 tonnes valued at Rs 1.06 crore with a unit value of Rs 425 a kg, from 72 tonnes valued at Rs 2.43 crore with unit value of Rs 335.46 a kg in September 2005.

This has reflected in the total exports of cardamom during the first half of the current fiscal. Shipments dropped to 265 tonnes valued at Rs 7.87 crore during April-September 2006-07 from 279 tonnes worth Rs 9.34 crore in the corresponding period of the previous financial year.

The Guatemala cardamom has not yet become a threat to the indigenous product. The Indian price at present is competitive. Besides, the crop in Guatemala is also reported to be less this year, he said.

Favourable weather

The cardamom growing areas in Kerala and Tamil Nadu are now receiving good North-East monsoon showers. Hence, the present weather conditions are ideal for the crop and this might result in a good late crop, some of the growers in Idukki said.

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