Pepper futures continued to remain volatile mainly due to the activities of both operators who were engaged in pulling down and pushing up the market.

As the April delivery is nearing maturity and the stocks are diminishing, many were seen trying to buy spot.

Tamil Nadu-based dealers were reportedly covering for the grinding industry in Erode, Madurai etc.

Upcountry buyers who prefer high bulk density pepper bought from Kerala while those need low bulk density, bought from Karnataka; 525 and 535 GL pepper at Rs 335 and Rs 345 respectively while 500 and below 500 GL material at Rs 325 a kg. As a result, Karnataka pepper is said to be available in many parts of the north Indian markets in Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab, Haryana, Jammu and Delhi as the consumers prefer bold berries and not the bulk density.

The limited availability here and the high domestic prices appear to have paved the way for raising the imports in April- Feb 2012-13 to 13,707.62 tonnes from 10,062 tonnes in the corresponding period the previous fiscal. At the same time, India had shipped out only 13,944 tonnes of pepper in first 11 months of the last fiscal against 21,053 tonnes in the same period last year, sources said. The active contracts, April and May, slipped marginally by Rs 75 and Rs 230 respectively a quintal to close on Saturday at Rs 35,875 and Rs 35,705.

Total turn over showed an increase of 2,183 tonnes to 5,405 tonnes. Total open interest decreased by 327 tonnes last week to 1,793 tonnes.

Spot prices remained unchanged at Rs 34,800 (ungarbled) and Rs 36,300 (MG 1).

(This article was published on April 7, 2013)
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