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Cardamom rules steady

G.K. Nair

Kochi , June 16

THE cardamom market ruled steady on buying support at auctions held in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

At the auction on Wednesday in Kumily (Kerala) by the Cardamom Processing and Marketing Company (CPMC), 35 tonnes were sold at the average price of Rs 365 a kg. Except for the 8 mm bold prices of other varieties remained at last week's level. The 8 mm variety fetched Rs 560 to Rs 568 a kg, which was Rs 10 above the last week's price, Mr P.C. Punnoose, General Manager, CPMC, told Business Line. The 7mm bold variety was sold at Rs 410-420 a kg while bulk at Rs 290-300 a kg.

Most of the quantity that arrived was of inferior quality and hence the price remained at previous week's levels. Upcountry buyers were, however, active probably because of the fact that CPMC might not conduct auctions for the next two months.

Unofficially, CMPC's auction on Wednesday was the last of the season. The auctioneers in Bodinayakannur are also planning to suspend auctions due to very thin arrivals. However, two auctioneers based in Vandanmedu are yet to take a decision.

But, the Spices Board had issued a circular to all auctioneers not to stop auctions and asked them to provide proof in support of their claim of inadequate arrivals, official sources said.

It is understood that the auctioneers had not officially announced suspension of auctions, which of course, they cannot do under the agreement.

In fact, they want some time to settle the accounts with the traders, growers etc before the commencement of the next season.

During the season up to June 16, the total sales stood at 5,172 tonnes from the total arrivals of 5,574 tonnes and the weighted average price was Rs 361.67 a kg. During the corresponding period last season 4,428 tonnes arrived and of which 3,981 tonnes were sold and the average price was Rs 561.72 a kg. Prices of graded varieties were AGEB Rs 435-445, AGB Rs 325-335, AGS Rs 305-315 and AGS1 Rs 290-300 a kg.

Export buying was negligible. During May, an estimated 35 tonnes were exported and in June, it is expected to be around 15 tonnes.

As the quality of the capsules failed meet the requirement of the overseas buyers, exporters are waiting for the fresh crop, market sources said.

The current weather conditions prevailing in the growing areas are good to the crop, they said. The future of the crop would, however, depend on the vagaries of the weather, they added.

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Cardamom rules steady

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