G.K. Nair

Kochi, July 21

CARDAMOM prices ruled steady at auctions during the week held in Kerala and Tamil Nadu on buying support and there were good arrivals.

Prices of graded varieties at Bodinayakannur on Thursday were: AGEB Rs 390-Rs 400 a kg as against Rs 375-Rs 385 on July 16, while AGB Rs 260-Rs 270 (Rs 255-Rs 265), AGS Rs 250-Rs 260 (Rs 240-Rs 250) and AGS1 Rs 245-Rs 250 (Rs 235-Rs 245) a kg.

Price of running bulk ranged between Rs 270-Rs 300 a Kg, market sources told Business Line on Thursday.

The first round of picking is going on and in which bold varieties such as 8mm and 7mm capsules are of negligible quantity.

However, superior grade capsules are expected to arrive from mid-August, they said. Absence of these varieties had kept the exporters away from the auction at present.

Ever since the resumption of the auctions on July 7 exporters bought only around 4 tonnes of cardamom, they said.

Meanwhile, demand from North India was "very good as the pipeline is been empty", they said.

During July 16-20, arrivals stood at 88 tonnes, of which 87.5 tonnes of cardamom were sold.

At the Kumily auction on Wednesday, 31.46 tonnes of cardamom arrived and the entire quantity was sold, Mr P.C. Punnoose, General Manager of the auctioning company, Cardamom Processing and Marketing Company (CPMC) said. He said the price of 8mm bold was Rs 455 a kg, while that of 7mm was Rs 375-Rs 385.

There has been a shortage of these varieties at present and the situation would improve from the second round of picking from mid-August onwards, he said.

Mr Punnoose said 62 dealers participated at the Kumily auction and buying activity was good, as the traders as well as the planters were not holding any stock of the previous crop.

Unlike last year, the early rains this year well spread in the growing areas had been ideal for the agricultural crops and this would result in a good cardamom crop during the current season, trading sources said.

Total arrivals during August 1, 2004 to July 20, 2005 stood at 5,273 tonnes and of this 4,924 tonnes were sold. The weighted average price was Rs 302.35 a kg. During the corresponding period the previous year, arrivals stood at 5,764 tonnes and 5,324 tonnes were sold while the average price was Rs 361.18 a kg.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 22, 2005)
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