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Excess supply

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K.K. Mustafah

OUTPRICED:A retail trader checking cumin quality at his outlet in Kochi. Coverage of cumin seeds has increased by nearly one-and-a-half times this year owing to good climatic conditions in the country. This has led to higher arrivals and low prices. The rates have declined by over Rs 200 for a 20-kg lot during the last couple of weeks to Rs 850-1,300. Exports also have been hit on excess supply. During the first half of the current fiscal, 4,300 tonnes of cumin worth Rs 33.44 crore were exported against over 8,500 tonnes valued at Rs 62 crore the previous year. This is because Indian prices were $50-60 a tonne higher than the rates quoted by other origins such as Turkey and Syria.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 31, 2006)
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