G.K. Nair

Kochi, Oct. 20

The pepper futures market on Friday moved up on buying support. On NCDEX, November contract went up by Rs 270 a quintal to Rs 12,500. The increase in other positions was from Rs 150 to Rs 252 a quintal.

On NMCE, November was up by Rs 250 to close at Rs 12,100 a quintal from Rs 11,850 on Thursday. The increase in other positions, except for February and April, which were down by Rs 281 and Rs 250 respectively, was from Rs 176 to Rs 239 a quintal. The total turnover on NCDEX dropped by 1,584 tonne to 20,935 tonne from 22,519 tonne on Thursday.

On NMCE, it was up by 90 tonnes to close at 3,931 tonnes from 3,841 tonnes.

Outstanding Position

The total open interest on NCDEX on Friday was 24,736 tonnes as against 24,485 tonnes on Thursday, while on NMCE it was at 4,714 tonnes compared to 4,632 tonnes. The outstanding position for November and December on NCDEX was 10,345 tonnes and 10,726 tonnes respectively on Friday as against 10,862 tonnes and 10,031 tonnes on Thursday.

The outstanding position for December on NMCE stood at 3,966 tonnes. Harvesting is expected to commence from mid-November in Kerala. Spot prices ruled steady at Thursday's level of Rs 11,400 (un-garbled) and Rs 12,000 (MG 1) a quintal.

The pepper market is likely to experience buoyancy in November as exporters have sufficient orders from overseas markets. Besides good enquiries are floating for December/January/February 2007.

Overseas Buyers

The market manipulators were pulling down the prices in October and as a result the investors were not active in the declining market. These factors turned out to be boom for the exporters who could cover. The overseas buyers probably realised that they might not get Indian pepper at the current prices after November as "we may get adjusted to the level of Indonesia," they claimed.

In the international market, Indonesia is not selling cheaper. Their parity is at $3,300 a tonne (c&f) and in fact, there is no competitor for India at present in the market and hence for India there is no need for aggressive selling, some international market reports said.

Brazil was said to be selling B Asta at $2,800 a tonne (c&f). Indian parity is at $3,025 a tonne (c&f). However, some exporters had sold at $2,975 a tonne (c&f).

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 21, 2006)
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