Agri Business

Nutmeg, mace prices soar on short supply

G.K. Nair Kochi | Updated on November 14, 2017

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The prices of nutmeg and mace continued to soar on short supply in the domestic and international markets.

Unfavourable weather in growing countries such as Sri Lanka and Indonesia reduced the output last year and harvesting is reported to be delayed in Sri Lanka this year due to untimely rains, trade sources here said.

Meanwhile, industry sources claimed that in India “unseasonal rains have destroyed the flowers hence, 30 per cent shortage is expected in the coming 2011season.” According to them, there is a likely shortage in Sri Lanka also in the coming seasons due to unseasonal rains and hence prices are expected to move up further.

Decline in output in supply sources has pushed up the prices of mace to Rs 1,700-2,000 a kg here depending upon the quality/colour, they said.

Farm grade nutmeg with a shell is ruling at Rs 425-450 a kg while that without shell is at Rs 700 a kg and above, they said.

Indian output of nutmeg with shell is estimated at 13,000 tonnes and when the shells are removed it would come to about 9,000 tonnes.

Indian domestic demand for mace is estimated at around 1,600-2,000 tonnes a year against production of around 800-1,200 tonnes. The shortfall is met by imports mainly from Sri Lanka under duty free imports, they said.

Meanwhile, one section of the trade said the requirement of nutmeg has ranged between 13,000 tonnes (without shell) and 15,000 tonnes given its growing use in indigenous medicines/drugs, cosmetics and in various food products. The demand includes exports which ranges between 1,500-3,000 tonnes depending upon availability and price, they said.

During Apr-Feb 2010-2011, the country exported 1,550 tonnes of nutmeg and mace valued at Rs 69.77 crore at an average unit value of Rs 450.12 a kg. Against this 3,210 tonnes of it were exported in the corresponding period in the previous fiscal valued at Rs 88.92 crore at the average unit value of Rs 277 a kg, official sources said.

Published on April 06, 2011

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