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Saturday, Jun 12, 2004

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Weak demand pulls down cardamom

G.K. Nair

Kochi , June 11

CARDAMOM prices dropped at auctions held in major centres in Kerala and Tamil Nadu on Wednesday and Thursday on weak demand.

The average price on Thursday at Bodinayakannur auction dropped to Rs 297, while at Kumily in Kerala on Wednesday to Rs 314 a Kg.

There were no buyers for the inferior quality at the auctions in Bodi and as the prices dropped, growers withdrew about 50 per cent of their offerings.

The season had come to an end and the capsules arriving in the market were of poor quality, they said.

At the auction in Kumily also, bulk and medium varieties were sold Rs 10-15 a kg below the previous auction price.

However, bold varieties of 7 mm and above fetched Rs 10 more, 8 mm bold albeit little quantity arrived was sold at Rs 520 - 525 a kg.

Up to June 10, the arrivals stood at 5,486 tonnes and of which 5,084 were sold.

The weighted average price was Rs 361.82 a kg. In the corresponding period last season, 3,969 tonnes were world from the total arrival of 4,413 tonnes and the weighted average price was Rs 562.30 a kg.

Prices of the graded varieties on June 6 were AGEB Rs 445 - Rs 455, AGB Rs330 - Rs340, AGS Rs 315 - Rs 325 and AGS1 Rs 290 - 300 a kg.

Auctioneers are planning to suspend auctions from mid-June onwards. The Cardamom Processing and Marketing Company (CPMC) in Kumily would stop conducting auctions from June 16 for two months due to poor arrivals, according to Mr P. C. Punnoose, General Manager, CPMC.

The growing areas are receiving heavy rains in recent days and as a result replanting is going on a faster pace in areas where the plants were destroyed in the recent drought. The demand for seedlings has gone up substantially leading to a rise in its prices from Rs 20 to Rs 40 now.

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