Syrian unrest may increase demand for Indian jeera

Written by RajeshRavi | Kochi | Updated: Jun 12 2012, 06:16am hrs
Political unrest in Syria, which is a major producer of jeera, is likely to help the Indian jeera market, which is currently seen weak due to higher production. Currently, India is the cheapest origin for the commodity. Traders expect the market to bounce back a bit with arrivals also declining from the peak. The major producers of jeera are Iran, India, Syria, Pakistan, and Turkey. It is also found in Morocco, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, North America and Chile.

Syrian problems may increase the export demand for Indian variety. It is reported that Turkey does not have much stock and Afghanistan crop is a failure this season, Angel Commodities Brokings Nalini Rao said. Higher exports have translated into firmer domestic market. A sudden drop in jeera production in Syria and Turkey had helped India achieve impressive exports figures from 2007, a Spices Board official said. Production dropped by 500-600% in Turkey during 2007 due to erratic climate. It has improved slightly now but is seen much lower that the normal output, sources said.

Lower stocks of jeera with Syria and Turkey is likely to shift overseas buyers to India. Fresh crop arrivals from Syria and Turkey are expected to commence from July onwards. This is likely to exert pressure on the prices in the beginning of July. But overseas buyers are likely to shift to India on account of lingering tensions and lower price, Nalini said. Currently, prices of Indian origin are being offered at $2,500 per tonne while Syrian jeera is being offered at $3,200 per tonne.

Jeera exports during the first ten months of the last FY stands at 34,500 tonne, which shows an increase of 54 % over the same period of the previous FY. Angel reports that jeera production this season would be around 38-40 lakh bags as compared to 29 lakh bags (each bag weighs 55kgs) in the year 2010-11.In Gujarat, jeera was sown on 265,000 hectares of land, compared to 130,000 hectares in the previous year.

Spot price for jeera in the NCDEX counter as on Monday evening stood at R13,441.35 for a quintal. In January 31, 2012 jeera was quoted at R15,350 a quintal in Unjha.