The cardamom market continued to move up last week on domestic buying support despite increase in arrivals at the auctions held in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Upcountry buyers were actively covering on fear of a sharp fall in the next crop due to the drought conditions prevailing in the growing areas, trade sources said.

The growing areas have not been getting any rain for some time now, P.C. Punnoose, General Manager, CPMC, Kumily, told Business Line.

These factors seem to have activated the market, he said.

The individual auction average has shown a significant rise and crossed the Rs 850 a kg level for four days from Tuesday last and declined to Rs 834.03 on Sunday.

Last week, nearly 30-50 per cent of the arrivals were from the new picking, trade sources said.

Those holding stocks were liquidating as the prices are ruling at moderately higher levels. Only rich farmers and stockists might be holding stocks, they said.

Export buying was negligible and estimated to be below 10 tonnes, they said adding good quantity of cardamom might have been shipped out well before Ramzan when the prices were ruling at lower levels here, they said.

Sources in Bodinayakannur said bold 8mm good colour capsule was fetching Rs 1,250-1,300 a kg.

Volume of high quality material was limited.

Officially, the new cardamom season has begun from August 1.

Thus, total arrivals during the current season from Aug 1-5, was at 280 tonnes and that in the corresponding period previous season stood at 300 tonnes.

Sales were at 275 tonnes and 289 tonnes respectively.

Total arrivals last season from Aug 1, 2011 to 31 July 2012 stood at an all-time high of 21,103 tonnes and sales at 20,305 tonnes where as they were in the same period previous season stood at 13,374 and 13,054 tonnes respectively.

Thus, last season witnessed bumper crop and stocks of which are still held by rich growers/stockists, the trade claimed.

Arrivals stood at 51 tonnes as against 70 tonnes arrived on the previous Sunday and the entire quantity was sold out, Punnoose said.

Maximum price yesterday was at Rs 1,182.50 a kg and the minimum was Rs 501.50 .

The individual auction average increased to around Rs 835 a kg from Rs 800 the previous Sunday, he said.

Weighted average price as on Aug 5, 2012 was at Rs 853.12 as against Rs 636.82 on the same date last year, according to market sources.

Prices of graded varieties (in Rs/kg): AGEB 1,125- 1,135; AGB 845-855; AGS 825-835 and AGS 1: 805-815.

(This article was published on August 6, 2012)
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