The pepper market last week witnessed mixed trend with the usual high volatility. There was liquidation and switching over as the premium was high in October. Activities were limited last week due to Onam in Kerala. There were no arrivals from the primary markets as growers and dealers were on holiday. Squeezing and cornering continued to affect the market negatively, market sources said. Much of the upcountry demand was met by direct purchases from growers on cash and carry basis.

Stocks were held in hands of traders who were not interested in releasing them at current prices. Therefore, arrivals at the terminal market was much below expectations.

Last week the September contract showed a marginal decline while October and November moved up.

September decreased by Rs 195 during the week to the last traded price of Rs 41,425 a quintal. October and November prices increased by Rs 475 and Rs 550 respectively to the LTP of Rs 42,600 and Rs 42,975 a quintal.

Turnover

Total turnover increased by 990 tonnes during the week to close at 14,801 tonnes.

Total open interest decreased by 208 tonnes to end at 6,812 tonnes.

Spot prices moved up by Rs 100 last week to close at Rs 38,800 (ungarbled) and Rs 40,300 (garbled) a quintal on Saturday. Prices of other origins showed a positive trend. If they climbed up to over $7,000 a tonne level and at the same time Indian parity declined to somewhere near that level, some stability might take place in prices and that may attract buyers who prefer Malabar even at a premium of $400 a tonne, trade sources said.

Overseas Trend

In the international scenario, all buyers were looking towards Indonesia and consequently, prices for Lampong Asta reportedly firmed up after the Eid ul-Fitr. Prices quoted last week for black pepper in dollar per tonne (c&f) New York were: MG 1 8,100-8,200; Lampong Asta 6,600-6,700; Brazil Asta – 6,600 (fob); Brazil B1 560g – 6,450-6,500 fob Madagascar light berries – 6,600-6,650 (fob); Muntok white – 8,850-8,900.

The market was extremely firm in Brazil also as more inquiries/bids were coming in from Europe, Dubai and Mexico. Meanwhile, there were bullish reports from Rotterdam and Hamburg last weekend.

Vietnam pepper prices remained steady.

The Vietnam Pepper Association is reported to have advised growers to hold back their produce as prices would move up and touch or even cross $7,000 a tonne.

This phenomenon is said to have led to a squeeze in supply from Vietnam and the consequent firming up in prices.

(This article was published on September 2, 2012)
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