As cardamom output rises, traders see higher exports

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Updated: December 25, 2015 12:54:36 AM

Increased arrivals of cardamom at the auctions are keeping the market under pressure. Traders feel that competitive Indian prices would help in higher exports and support the market.

Increased arrivals of cardamom at the auctions are keeping the market under pressure. Traders feel that competitive Indian prices would help in higher exports and support the market. India is the second largest producer of cardamom in the world after Guatemala, and the biggest consumer of the spice. Guatemala leads with 60-66% of the world production but has seen production come down in the past few years due to natural disasters like floods.

“Arrivals at the auction centers are almost double of the volume on a year-on-year basis. From April to November, approximately 20,000 tonne were traded as against a normal of 12,000 tonne. Production is definitely higher at around 30,000 tonne this year due to good climate and increased area under farming,” P C Punnose of Cardamom Processing Marketing Company (CPMC), Kumily, told FE. Cardamom-producing regions in Kerala received good and continuous rains during this year, he added.

Cardamom plants are very sensitive to rains, with productivity directly related to the volume of rains and number of rain days. Cardamom needs low temperature, high humidity and incessant drizzles. Heavy rains could damage the crop, while intermittent rains that keep the atmosphere humid augur well. Experts and planters are now speaking about underestimation in the production of cardamom. Many feel annual production in India would be near 30,000-35,000 tonne per annum, given a conducive environment. Better returns from cardamom have induced many farmers to replace pepper, tea and coffee with cardamom, Punnose said. Cardamom fetched an average of R597.27 per kg on Thursday’s auction, in which 92 tonne was traded.

“Export demand is high and we are getting good contracts from even Jordan and Iran. Indian cardamom is very competitive,” Ramalingam Vishwanath of GRK Traders told FE. He believes that the prices have declined a lot and would remain steady at this level as domestic consumption picks up.

Looking up

India is the second largest producer of cardamom in the world after Guatemala, and the biggest consumer of the spice. Guatemala leads with 60-66% of the world production but has seen production come down in the past few years due to natural disasters like floods.

Experts and planters are now speaking about underestimation in the production of cardamom. Many feel annual production in India would be near 30,000-35,000 tonne per annum, given a conducive environment.

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