Cheaper Karnataka pepper trumps Kerala varieties

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on January 28, 2020 Published on January 28, 2020

The availability of Karnataka pepper at cheaper rates seems to have dampened the demand for Kerala pepper in upcountry markets.

Against the price of ₹317 per kg for ungarbled quoted in Kochi on Tuesday, traders pointed out that Karnataka dealers are offering the commodity in the range between ₹295 to ₹315 per kg. Though quality of Karnataka pepper is slightly inferior to that of Kerala, its lower price is the main attraction for buyers, especially due to the availability of GST paid smuggled pepper in these markets at ₹330 per kg. All these pepper are smuggled through Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh borders to several centres in North India, said Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices.

Similarly, the markets in Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Nagpur etc are also reported the sale of imported Sri Lankan pepper at ₹325 with GST, after importing at ₹500 MIP. Therefore, demand for Kerala pepper from upcountry markets is limited, Shamji said.

Since industrial end users are looking for minimum 550, 570 and 600 gl, there is good demand for Kerala pepper as the commodity meets all these specifications.

Meanwhile, the Kochi market remained steady with an offtake of 27 tonnes. IPSTA Cochin Pepper rate: MG1- ₹337; ungarbled - ₹317; new pepper – ₹307.

On the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on pepper consignments, Shamji said China is the major buyer of Vietnam pepper and the markets not only in China but in Vietnam and Indonesia are closed for the Chinese New Year. So any impact could be known only after the reopening of the markets by mid-February. However, he said China's pepper imports from Vietnam have crossed the US figures which touched 57,500 tonnes during Jan-Dec 2019, while the US imports stood at 49,500 tonnes.

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Published on January 28, 2020
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