Pepper prices were mixed on Monday with the running February contract moving up, while others dropped.

As spot pepper was not available, some were buying from the exchange platform aided the price of February contracts to move up.

There was no arrival of fresh pepper as many of the farmers are said to be holding pepper and selling cardamom that is fetching a good price at this point of time, market sources told Business Line. Arrivals of new pepper are very thin of late.

However, inter-State dealers from Tamil Nadu are reportedly covering directly from growers at terminal market prices, some in the trade claimed.

The difference between the futures and the spot prices continued to widen, they said. February contracts on the NCDEX increased by Rs 285 to Rs 34,295 a quintal. March and April deliveries dropped by Rs 70 and Rs 135, respectively to Rs 33,705 and Rs 33,730.

Total turnover increased by 395 tonnes to 897 tonnes. February open interest rose by 32 tonnes to 2,773 tonnes, while that of March and April was up by 15 tonnes and 18 tonnes, respectively to 662 tonnes and 133 tonnes.

Spot prices flat

Spot prices remained unchanged in the absence of activities at Rs 36,500 (ungarbled) and Rs 38,000 (MG 1) a quintal.

Indian parity in the international market was at $7,300 a tonne (c&f) at spot prices while that at February prices was at $6,800 (c&f) nearly at par with other competing origins, they said. However, the exporters are wary of making any commitment for fear of availability of material at that point of time at the present rates, they added.

(This article was published on December 31, 2012)
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