Chilli prices are expected to rule around Rs 50/kg during March-April, according to the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore.
The prices are now ruling at about Rs 35/kg in the Guntur market.
It has cautioned farmers that exports to Bangladesh and Pakistan might decline as production in these countries is expected to be good this year which would have a bearing on its price in the domestic market.
In a release, TNAU said India, which produced about 12.50 lakh tonnes of chilli last year, was the world’s largest producer of chilli, while China was second.
In 2010, China’s chilli production fell sharply due to weather conditions benefiting the Indian exporters.
India exports chilli in processed forms like chilli powder, dried chillies, flaked chilli etc that had been witnessing phenomenal growth since 2001-02. The exports, which were valued at Rs 1,536 crore in 2010-11 (2.40 lakh tonnes), had jumped to Rs 2,144 crore in 2011-12 despite only a marginal increase in quantity to 2.41 lakh tonnes which was due to the increase in prices.
Malaysia was the largest importer of chillies from India accounting for 26 per cent of the exports while Sri Lanka (19 per cent), Bangladesh (17 per cent) and the US (14 per cent) were the other major buyers.
Bangladesh, Pak crop prospects
TNAU said that during the current year, chilli crop in Bangladesh and Pakistan was expected to be good leading to a possible fall in exports to them. Production in China also might improve this year putting it in direct competition with India in the export markets.
Since the prices in domestic market are influenced by exports, a fall in exports might impact the domestic prices negatively.
The release pointed out that, in Tamil Nadu, chillies were grown during October-November in nursery or directly sown to be harvested in February-March with April-May accounting for peak arrivals of harvested crop. Farmers were keen to know the likely price of chillies during harvest time so that they could take up sowing them now.
TNAU said that chilli harvest had commenced in Madhya Pradesh from where about 70 lakh bags are expected to flood the Guntur market soon. It was reported that in Andhra Pradesh itself 60 lakh bags of chillies, each weighing 45-60 kg, had been stocked. While about 11.50 lakh tonnes of chillies would be produced in India in 2012-13, already there was a stock of 3 lakh tonnes available, all of which might exert pressure on chilli prices.
The Domestic and Export Market Intelligence Cell of the university, which had analysed the price of dry chillies in the Virudhunagar regulated market, has estimated that the chilli price might rule around Rs 50 per kg during March-April 2013 and has advised the farmers to take a call on cultivating chillies keeping this in view.