Cardamom gains flavour as trading resumed

G.K. Nair
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The cardamom market last week witnessed some buoyancy as all the traders resumed trading at the auctions from last Wednesday held in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Upcountry buyers were actively buying while exporters were also seen covering.

At today's auction in Bodinayakannur by the Cardamom Planters Association 37 tonnes of cardamom arrived and almost the entire quantity was sold out. The average price there was at Rs 717.39 a kg.

However, the arrival trend is giving the impression that the crop is less this season due to the erratic weather conditions.

This phenomenon is appears to have created a bullish sentiment in the market, trade sources told Business Line.

Full participation of the traders was there from Wednesday and all were actively doing business, they said.

The price trend has been good so far, when compared with last year average price at this time of the season, they said.

However, for the growers the average price should be Rs 800 a kg if they were to be happy. Some of the growers in Kattappana and Idukki said the input cost for fertilizer had almost trebled in recent months.

“We have to pay Rs 840 for a 50-kg bag of potash now in place of Rs 250. Similarly, the cost of factumfos has zoomed to Rs 934 for 50-kg bag against Rs 350”, they said.

Exporters were active in the market and they are estimated to have bought around 20 tonnes last week, trade sources said.

Some in the trade believe that the inventories of the upcountry stockists must have gone empty by now as they would have liquidated them for Navaratri festival and for the Diwali. Consequently, fresh demand is likely to come up in the coming days for the winter and wedding season, they claimed.

At the Sunday auction conducted by the KCPMC total arrivals stood at 63.4 tonnes and the entire quantity was sold out. The maximum price was at Rs 1,038 a kg and the minimum was at Rs 453. Auction average price increased to around Rs 750 from Rs 689 on the previous Sunday, P.C. Punnoose, General Manager, CPMC, said.

Total arrivals and sales during the current season from Aug 1 to Nov 11 were at 3,307 tonnes and 3,106 tonnes respectively. Whereas, in the corresponding period the previous season they were at 6,496 tonnes and 6,308 tonnes, official sources said.

The weighted average price as on Nov 11 was Rs 748.23 ( Rs 589.03).

Prices of graded varieties (Rs/kg): AGEB 900-910; AGB 685- 695; AGS 650-660; and AGS -1 : 625-635.

(This article was published on November 12, 2012)
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