Agri Business

Water shortage hits jeera, coriander sowing in Gujarat; prices head north

Rutam Vora Ahmedabad | Updated on November 29, 2018 Published on November 29, 2018

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Canal irrigation may save coriander; Rajasthan crop could make up jeera shortfall

Growers of spices such as jeera (cumin seed) and coriander in Gujarat are facing a tough time this rabi season as water shortage due to scanty rain has taken a toll on these crops impacting their acreage.

Gujarat is the largest producer of cumin, accounting for nearly two-thirds of India’s output and is also a major producer of coriander. According to State government data on rabi sowing, as on November 26, jeera sowing was completed on 1,22,200 hectares, which is down by 36 per cent against what was reported in the same period last year.

The area under coriander has dipped by about 79 per cent year-on-year basis at 8,500 hectares as on November 26.

While the price trend for coriander has shown a bullish trend over last year, jeera has been range-bound. Traders said that jeera prices may remain range-bound till the fresh arrivals of the crop in early February.

“Coriander crop has bleak prospects due to water shortage. The sowing has been less this time as against last year. However, the jeera crop may survive due to canal irrigation in some parts of Rajasthan,” said Bhavesh Patel, a spices trader in Unjha, the largest market for jeera.

Patel further added that while jeera prices have largely stabilised from the volatile trends of a month ago, coriander will remain bullish compared to last year. In the spot market of Gondal, coriander quoted in the range of ₹62-64 a kg, which is ₹8-10 higher than what was quoted a year ago.

Jeera prices, however touched ₹205 a kg in the spot market for a brief period before settling in the range of ₹190-195. It was quoted in the range of ₹200-205 a kg around the same period last year.

“Jeera prices have cooled a bit from their recent high levels because of reduced offtake in the spot market. The buyers are awaiting the fresh crop and postponing purchases,” said Patel. Sowing will continue till mid of December and new jeera arrivals will begin from mid-February.

However, looking at the jeera crop —- Gujarat and Rajasthan being the top growers in the country — traders believe that a dip in sowing due to water shortage will be made up with an increased output in Rajasthan.

“At present, it is early to comment on the crop size and impact on sowing as the same is still underway. There will be impact in Gujarat, but the same will be made up by a better jeera crop in Rajasthan. Hence, we see prices to be range-bound in the near term with no possibility of a short-term rally,” said Vijay Joshi, an industry insider.

Published on November 29, 2018
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