Kochi, Feb. 26
Spot pepper prices shot up by Rs 450 a quintal in a week on short supply and increased demand. Reports of sharp fall in production to less than 50,000 tonnes has intensified the buying activities in the domestic market. MG1 was sold at Saturday at Rs 7,400 a quintal against Rs 6,950 a quintal on February 18. The domestic demand is estimated to be over 50,000 tonnes. The north Indian buyers, both investors and the grinding industry, were actively buying directly from the primary market. An estimated 250 tonnes of pepper were alleged to have been sent to north Indian markets from Idukki and Wayanadu districts of Kerala by trucks during the week evading tax. According to market sources, transporters are ready to carry pepper from these two districts to anywhere in the country at Rs 5 a kg.
(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 27, 2006)