Jaggery prices soar ahead of festival season

Ch R. S Sarma
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Jaggery prices scaled a new high during the peak season at Anakapalle in Visakhapatnam district, one of the major markets in the country.

The spurt in demand, pushing up prices sharply, is attributed to the forecast of delay in arrivals as well as projected poor production in Maharashtra and Karnataka due to drought conditions. The festival demand ahead has also led to the rise in prices.

Inadequate stocks

According to trade sources, another reason is the availability of inadequate stocks in the market. “It is still two to two-and-a-half months for the fresh jaggery season to begin here. Two-thirds of the stocks that were about 2,500 truckloads at one point of time have been off-loaded. With the forecast that it might take until after Diwali for stocks to arrive in Maharashtra, the limited stocks are in demand,” said K. Butchi Raju, a trader. The festival season beginning with Ganesh Chaturthi and continuing through Dasara and Diwali generates heavy demand for jaggery. Over a week, prices rose from Rs 269-270 for a lump of 10-kg to Rs 293 for the inferior black variety that is in much demand. Showing the same trend, jaggery prices at Kamareddy and Chittor in Andhra Pradesh also witnessed a rise. The superior quality has not witnessed such a spurt in price at Anakapalle, as Nidadavole in West Godavari district and Mandya in Karnataka generally cater to the segment. Trade sources now expect the price to touch and even cross Rs 300 a lump.

(This article was published on August 7, 2012)
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