G.K. Nair

Kochi, July 28

CARDAMOM prices fell sharply by Rs 40 a kg at auctions held during the week in Kerala and Tamil Nadu on heavy selling pressure.

There have been heavy arrivals during the week. The early crop this year also turned out to be good. Besides, for the first time auctions were being held in July, trading sources told Business Line.

The arrivals at the auction at Kumily in Kerala on Wednesday stood at 45 tonnes.

Domestic and export buyers were active but they appeared determined to buy at low prices claiming that re-sale was not taking place in the market currently.

The average price at Kumily fell to Rs 232.15 a kg, probably for the first time this year, they said.

According to trading sources in Bodinayakannur, there is no demand both from North and South Indian buyers, while the exporters are silent.

Bulk is being sold at Rs 200- Rs 210 a kg, while floating bulk is sold at Rs 220 - 240. The price of medium bulk had dropped to Rs 170 a kg from Rs 230 - Rs 240 a kg when the auctions began on July 7.

Market continued to slip, they said.

According to some of the farmers, a majority of the growers do not want to hold their produce on the fear that there would be a "bumper crop" this year on favourable weather conditions prevailing in the growing areas.

This phenomenon had resulted in a selling pressure, which, they claimed, was being exploited by the traders who are bidding at low prices. Almost all the quantity brought to the auction centres during the week were sold out.

The individual average price ranged between Rs 232.15 and Rs 236.28 a kg during the week as against Rs 275.31 a kg on July 23, they said.

The total arrivals so far stood at 5,407 tonnes, of which 5,054 tonnes were sold as against 5,774 tonnes and 5,361 tonnes respectively in the same period last season.

The average price this season was Rs 301.01 as against Rs 361.13 last season. (Officially the season is from August 1 to July 31.

For the first time in several years the auctions began on July 7 because of the early crop this year.)

Prices of graded varieties as on July 16 were AGEB Rs 375 - Rs 385, AGB Rs 255 - Rs 265, AGS Rs 240 - Rs 255 and AGS 1 Rs 235 - Rs 245 a kg.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 29, 2005)
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