Pepper futures shot up and hit the second ceiling Friday on strong bullish activities and prevailing tight supply scenario.

The February delivery price has almost reached the level of March as expected, trade sources said.

As the prices were shooting up both sellers and buyers stayed away.

Bulls who were suffering for the past three-four deliveries appeared to have mustered strength and held on to their positions which in turn pushed the prices sharply up, market sources told Business Line .

“Bulls were in the driving seat. Operators at the national level also aided the price rise. Meanwhile, for the local bulls who turned bearish yesterday, it turned out to be shocking,” they said. It happened “as if the market was waiting for them to become bearish”, they said. Indian parity, as a result, has shot up to $5,550 - $5,600 a tonne and at this rate “we cannot sell anywhere”, export sources said. “Anyway, we don't have pepper to sell and at the same time we have a strong domestic market.”

The growers would be benefited by this price provided pepper imported at lower rates duty-free were not pushed into the domestic market at a premium as Wayanad produce, they alleged.

February contract on NCDEX shot up Rs 941 to Rs 24,445 a quintal. March and April increased Rs 850 and Rs 747 respectively to Rs 24,523 and Rs 24,621.

Total turnover

Total turnover soared 7,511 tonnes to 27,269 tonnes.

Total open interest increased 1,433 tonnes to 18,611 tonnes.

February open interest declined 76 tonnes while March and April shot up 1,018 tonnes and 472 tonnes respectively to 8,835 tonnes and 1,184 tonnes showing huge additional purchases.

Spot prices soared Rs 600 to Rs 22,700 (un-garbled) and Rs 23,500 (MG 1) a quintal in tandem with the futures market trend. According to an overseas report from the US today, Muntok white pepper market moved up quite a bit while black pepper was more or less unchanged.

Prices quoted for black pepper of different origins in dollar per tonne (c&f) New York were: MG 1 asta – 5,375-5,475; Lampong asta – 5,050-5,100 f.o.b.; Brazil B2 500g/l – 4,850 f.o.b.; Brazil B1 550g/l – 4,900 f.o.b.; Brazil B asta -5,000 f.o.b.; Vietnam asta – 5,300-5,325; MLV asta – 5,500 ex-warehouse New York/New Jersey.

White pepper prices quoted in dollar per tonne c&f were Muntok white pepper – 8,000-8,150 and Vietnam (double washed) - 7,375-7,400.