The jeera (cumin seed) prices have scaled a new peak of ₹48,420 per quintal on NCDEX on Monday fuelled by export demand and thin stocks.
NCDEX Jeera May futures hit a peak of ₹48,420 before cooling off to ₹46,560 during the day. The seed spice was the top gainer on NCDEX Futures with over 3.4 per cent gains on Monday. In spot markets at Unjha in Gujarat, jeera hit ₹47,985.90 per quintal.
The seed spice has rallied by nearly 90 per cent in past six months, while it gained almost 30 per cent in the past one month alone. Market participants attribute this fiery rally to the lower crop and higher demand led by China.
Spices expert Premchand Motta admitted to a shortage in supply. Additionally, Motta said, “Wealthy farmers are holding 50 per cent of their jeera crop. Last year’s carryover stock was 5 lakh bags (each of 55 kg) versus 30/35 lakh bags of carryover recorded for 2022. The sentiment is bullish right now.”
“When market takes a pause for two or three days, we may see good arrivals as farmers may look to sell their stocks,” said Motta.
Analysts estimate that about 60-65 per cent of the total crop in Rajasthan, and about 65-70 per cent of total crop in Gujarat has arrived into the markets. Meaning, about 28-30 million bags (each of 55 kg) out of the estimated 50 million bags total crop have already entered the market. In Unjha, daily jeera arrivals stood at 30,000 to 35,000 bags about a month ago, which has dropped to about 7,000 to 8,000 bags per day now.
In its research report, Kedia Advisory noted, “Jeera price have risen over 50 per cent in 2023 due to consistent increase in export demand. China’s purchase of cumin is so substantial that it is difficult to meet the supply for export processors. In the past three weeks, China has purchased 300 to 350 containers of cumin from India. Bangladesh has also made significant purchases of cumin.”
The international pipeline is empty and currently India is the only major supplier to the global buyers. As per the Kedia Advisory, the new crop from Syria and Afghanistan will start after June 15-20. In Afghanistan, jeera crop is expected to be larger than last year. “Cumin traders in Syria claim that there will be a crop of 20,000 to 30,000 tonnes (the largest crop in the last ten years), provided the weather remains favourable for the next month,” it added. This is believed to cool-off the prices to some extent.
However, the current uptrend is expected to continue till May 15-20 due to an increase in export demand. But going forward jeera may again witness upward price pressure as the seeding demand for next sowing will pickup, thereby further squeezing the already-tight supplies.