G.K. Nair

In a nutshell

Total arrivals

reached an all-time high of 8,231 tonnes as on April 12 at auction centres in Kerala and Tamil Nadu

The weighted

average price this season fell to Rs 216.52 a kg (Rs 304.71).

Trend in arrivals

indicates cardamom production during the 2005-06 (season) may touch 14,000 tonnes.

Kochi, April 16

Cardamom prices ruled steady on continued good arrivals and buying support even during the lean period of the current season, at the auctions held in Kerala and Tamil Nadu during the week.

Total arrivals during the season reached an all-time high of 8,231 tonnes as on April 12 at the auction centres in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The sales also recorded a high of 7,691 tonnes. In the same period last season, the arrivals were at 4,288 tonnes and sales at 3,976 tonne. The weighted average price this season fell to Rs 216.52 a kg from Rs 304.71 a kg from last season.

The arrival trend indicates that the cardamom production in the country during the 2005-06 (season) might touch 14,000 tonnes.

Prices of the graded varieties were at AGEB Rs 295 - Rs 305, AGB Rs 200-215, AGS Rs 190-200 and AGS 1 Rs 180-190 a kg.

The prices of these varieties in the local market were AGEB Rs 280-290, AGB Rs 190-200, AGS Rs 180190 and AGS 1 Rs 170-180 a kg. Bulk was being sold at Rs 180-230 a kg.

Kumily auction

At the Cardamom Processing and Marketing Company (CPMC) auction on Wednesday in Kumily, 49 tonnes arrived and the entire lot was sold. The average price there was Rs 193.62 a kg. Export buying was thin. A Virudhunagar-based exporter bought five tonnes of cardamom from the Kumily auction.

Exports last month stood at 56 tonnes and this level is expected to maintain in April also, export sources said.

The increase in arrivals is also attributed to the liquidation of old stock by major planters. Final picking is said to be going on in Santhanpara and Vandanmedu region.

The current crop may last till May-end. The intermittent summer showers now in the growing areas might improve the crop in the next season.

The trend in arrivals this year signals that the auctions are likely to continue throughout the season, they added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 17, 2006)
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