Indian cardamom is losing its aroma in the export market as the Guatemalan crop is flooding the Gulf region at lower prices.

This has facilitated GCC countries to go for increased procurement of Guatemala cardamom which is currently selling at $5-12 per kg against the Indian price of $10-18, depending on the grades.

M Dhanavandhan, a cardamom exporter in Bodinayakkanur, said Indian cardamom received good prices and demand till August. But now, the spice faced subdued demand mainly because of good arrivals from Guatemala at lower prices.

Earlier, Indian exporters faced several issues connected with the non-availability of containers and a rise in ocean freights. All these issues have now been settled, but the enhanced arrivals of Guatemala produce is posing a threat to Indian crops.

Playing down threat

However, official sources has played down the threat, saying that Indian cardamom always carries a higher price in the export market. It is far superior to Guatemala with its intrinsic qualities, colour etc and always fetches a premium price in the gulf countries. In 2021-22, exports were a record 10,572 tonnes at an estimated value of ₹1,375 crore compared to 6,486 tonnes in 2020-21.

Meanwhile, the trade expectations for a sales boom ahead of Diwali seem to have waned with prices moving southward and hovering in the range of ₹925-950 per kg in the auctions.

Auctioneer PC Punnoose, CEO, CPMC Ltd, said the market trend is speculative and the uptrend in prices could be expected only when the carryover stocks in consuming centres are liquidated during the Diwali festival. There were record arrivals in the auctions at 15,500 tonnes in the first six months from April to September. This has resulted in carryover stock in the consuming centres which has hit the prices as well.