Cardamom regains its aroma as domestic, export demand lifts prices

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The reports of crop failure in Guatemala due to adverse weather conditions helped lift Indian cardamom prices to ₹1,700 per kg.

According to traders, cardamom prices have started moving north from ₹1,450 a month ago.

Upcountry buying

The market is doing well since the last one month as the harvest in plantations has been completed and there won’t be much quantity to offer in auctions. There has been a strong upcountry buying in the absence of requisite stock in major consuming centres and this was also a factor for the price surge, auctioneers said.

Cardamom movement from upcountry centres, which have been hit due to the Covid pandemic, has also improved considerably. The consumption trend also witnessed a major change in the recent period with a shift towards masala manufacturers buying large quantities. This has led to increased industrial buying, especially low-grade varieties, an auctioneer said.

V Unnikrishnan, Senior Vice-President (Plantations), AVT, said nearly 70 per cent of the crop harvest for the season is over. The domestic demand is steady and export demand has also started picking up. The delay in the arrival of Guatemalan crop in West Asian markets has turned favourable to Indian exports.

Demand revival

Dhanavanthan, an exporter based in Bodinayakanur, said the crop has made a surprise comeback primarily because of the abundant and extended monsoon, leading to increased arrivals in the auctions. Not just traders, farmers and auctioneers also are benefiting out of the price which would remain stable for a longer period, he said.

Overseas sales have improved due to lesser arrivals from competitive countries. Without a larger dependency on Saudi Arabian market (because of testing requirements), he said export market is doing relatively well compared to last few years.

There is a positive trend in the market as the trading fraternity anticipated a dull sale throughout the year following the impact of Covid-19, he added.

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