G.K. Nair

Kochi, May 26

CARDAMOM prices have moved up by Rs 25 a kg during the past week at auctions held in Kerala on short supply.

Arrivals at the auction held in Kumily on Wednesday stood at 18 tonnes and the entire quantity were sold out, as upcountry buyers were active.

The 8mm bold capsule fetched Rs 450 a kg, while 7 mm Rs 340 - Rs 350 a kg. Current bulk was sold at Rs 265 to Rs 270 a kg. Arrivals at all the other auction centres showed a declining trend.

Trading sources in Bodinayakannur told Business Line that the domestic prices of 7mm - 7.5 mm bold is on par with that of the capsules imported from Guatemala and hence the upcountry buyers have been showing interest in buying.

There was no export buying at the auction held at Kumily. However, at the auction held in Kozhikode during the week, one of the exporters bought about three tonnes, mainly for export to Japan, they said.

Already, the three auctioneers at Bodinayakannur in Tamil Nadu and one each at Nedumkandam and Pulianmala in Kerala have suspended auctions citing poor arrivals. Only four companies, one in Kozhikode, two in Vandanmedu and one in Kumily are conducting auctions now.

According to sources at Cardamom Processing and Marketing Company, Kumily, the company would conduct auctions till June 8 and then suspend it for a month. It would resume auction by early July, as the harvesting of the next season crop would begin by mid-July, they said. Arrivals up to May 18 stood at 4,788 tonnes as against 5,179 tonnes in the corresponding period last year, while the sales were at 4,452 tonnes and 4,797 tonnes respectively.

The weighted average price this season was Rs 303.40 whereas it was Rs 362.67 a kg as on May 18, 2004. Average prices of graded varieties as on May 14 were AGEB Rs 380-Rs 390, AGB Rs 300-Rs 310, AGS Rs 280-Rs 290 and AGS1 Rs 265-Rs 275 a kg.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 27, 2005)
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