Agri Business

Sri Lankan pepper harvest worries Indian growers

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on May 19, 2020

Due to the price drop, many extraction companies from India opt for Sri Lankan pepper   -  K MURALI_KUMAR

The start of Sri Lankan pepper harvest season has put Indian growers on tenterhooks, as they fear slippage of the commodity into the domestic market.

According to traders, it is not officially permitted to sell Sri Lankan pepper into the domestic market below the MIP (minimum import price) of ₹500 per kg. However, with the harvest, the island nation is under pressure to sell the commodity in the wake of a price drop to $3000 per tonne from $4000 for 550 gl pepper.

Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices said that there could be selling pressure from Sri Lanka for re-exports to India by export-oriented units. Due to the price drop, many extraction companies from India opt for Sri Lankan pepper. Earlier, they used to buy Vietnam pepper at $2000, when Sri Lankan price was at $4000.

Meanwhile, the Kochi pepper market on Monday remained steady at ₹307 per kg for ungarbled varieties and the quantity offered was 10 tonnes. However, the removal of APMC cess of 1.5 per cent in Karnataka is likely to witness improved arrivals, as was witnessed in the previous day with 32 tonnes, he said.

According to Shamji, the domestic demand from Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar was a bit slow, as the trade is anticipating the influx of smuggled Vietnam pepper from Bangla border. However, the major markets in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan are yet to normalise and big processors are still not in a position to start operations in full swing. The buying is also slow in Delhi, which is also a big market supplying to nearby states.

Moreover, the terminal market in Kochi may witness more arrivals in the coming days, as farmers would come forward to part with their stock to meet the school admission expenses of their wards. However, it is to be seen that they would be ready to sell their produce at the declining prices, Shamji said.

Published on May 19, 2020

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