Agri Business

Cardamom auctions set to resume on May 28 in Puttady

Our Bureau Kochi | Updated on May 26, 2020 Published on May 26, 2020

After a gap of more than two months, the Spices Board is set to resume cardamom auctions at Puttady in Idukki from May 28.

It was decided to conduct the auctions on alternate days and the Kerala Cardamom Processing and Marketing Company, Kumily, has been entrusted to conduct the first auctions.

However, traders are sceptical of active buyer participation as 70 per cent of the buyers are from Tamil Nadu, where there are restrictions on travel to Kerala due to the Covid.

The Board has also sought the permission of the district administration, Theni in Tamil Nadu, to resume auctions at Bodinayakanur.

Cardamom prices are now hovering in the range of ₹1,800-1,900 a kg, while good bulk realised ₹2,000 and 8 mm capsules at ₹2,400. After completing the harvest in April, most of the farmers are holding their produce to be sold through e-auction. Meanwhile, the first shipment of 12 tonnes to Saudi Arabia after the lifting of the ban there has received encouraging response, as is evident from repeat orders.

According to M Dhanavandan, an exporter based in Bodinayakanur, in the absence of auctions, exporters are not in a position to give any commitment in prices and covering the desired volumes. To ensure more volumes for exports, auctions should be conducted simultaneously in both the centres, he added.

SB Prabhakar, a cardamom planter in Idukki, pointed out that India had exported up to 3,000 tonnes to Saudi Arabia alone in 2017-18 and the resuming of exports would help regain the market share as Guatemala has also imposed much tougher lockdown making exports more difficult, he said.

Published on May 26, 2020
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