Agri Business

Cumin seed, coriander seed output seen up amid favourable climate

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on March 02, 2020 Published on March 02, 2020

Spices may rule under pressure due to coronavirus, higher crop estimates

Good monsoon and higher acreage supported by favourable weather conditions has brightened crop prospects for key spices crops including cumin seed (jeera) and coriander seeds (dhana) among others.

The Federation of Indian Spice Stakeholders (FISS), on Sunday released its crop estimate for cumin seed with a 29-per cent jump in the crop size from last year. The estimated production for the year 2020, is estimated at 5,35,500 tonnes as against the estimated 4,16,600 tonnes in 2019.

The total area under jeera has increased by about 25 per cent at 10,25,600 hectares. Of the two jeera producing states, Gujarat has witnessed 40 per cent jump in the acreage to 4,39,830 hectares for 2020 as against 3,15,000 hectares last year. While Rajasthan reported a modest 16 per cent increase in the cuminseed area at 5,85,770 hectares as against 5,06,000 hectares last year. The overall yield is estimated to be in the range of 522 kg per hectares with a marginal increase of 3 per cent over last year.

"After good monsoon and increased weather, favourable weather conditions have supported the crop. However, there are some concerns for the next 2-3 weeks as most of the crop is still standing in the fields and any climatic disturbance at this juncture may adversely affect the crop," said Ashwin Nayak, Chairman, Federation of Indian Spice Stakeholders (FISS) after the industry meet in Udaipur on Sunday.

Speaking to Businesline, Nayak also expressed concerns on the price outlook for the spice crop, which has large export demand in China and Europe. "Due to coronavirus scare, trade is taking a hit. This is putting additional pressure on the prices, which are already ruling low due to higher crop prospects. We are still watching the next fortnight to take a cue for the prices. If the virus isn't contained then there is likely to be a double blow to the jeera prices and may fall further," Nayak said.

The spot prices have already fallen to Rs 13,903.55 a quintal, which is Rs 600-700 fall within a month. Jeera futures for March contract on NCDEX was weaker at Rs 13,605.

Coriander crop estimates

For the coriander crop, FISS has projected a sharp 55 per cent jump in the overall output in the country supported by a steep 275-per cent surge in acreage in Gujarat at 1,14,320 hectares this year as against 30,500 hectares last year. The crop size in Gujarat is expected to be higher by 293 per cent to 1,52,770 tonnes for the year.

Coriander crop in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan is projected at 1,45,470 tonnes and 84,830 tonnes respectively. While Madhya Pradesh is set to have an increase of 25 per cent in coriander crop, the same in Rajasthan is estimated to fall by about 8 per cent on year-on-year comparision.

"Overall area covered under Coriander has higher by 47% over last year due to good availability of water. Overall average yields are marginally higher by 5% from last year," stated FISS in its crop estimate for the crop.

Coriander futures are also hammered by the higher crop estimate, as the prices have fallen from Rs 7548 per quintal in January 2020 to Rs 5835 for the April contract on NCDEX.

Fennel seed and fenugreek estimates

For the other two major spices crops, fennel seed and fenugreek, FISS has estimated an increase in output by 19 per cent and 32 per cent respectively. "All India area covered under Fennel seed has increased by 10% over last year. On account of higher area & increased yield All India Fennel Seed production is higher by 19% over last year. Overall average yields are showing a increased by 8% from last year," FISS stated projecting the overall fennel seed crop at 89,970 tonnes for the year 2020.

For fenugreek, FISS has projected a crop size of 1,65,810 tonnes for 2020. "Area covered under Fenugreek has increased by 30% over last year due to good availability of water. Average yields are marginally (2%) higher from last year. On account of higher area and marginally higher yields fenugreek production is expected to jump by 32% over last year," it stated.

Published on March 02, 2020
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