De-oiled pepper dampens demand for fresh crop

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on February 11, 2020

Pepper farmers are agitated over the presence of imported pepper waste (de-oiled pepper) in upper Indian markets that has driven down the demand of fresh pepper in the domestic market.

They attribute the sluggish demand for fresh crop to the rampant usage of this extracted variety by small and medium masala manufacturers in the upcountry markets and even makers of home-made masalas in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices said the extracted pepper waste is imported duty-free and it cannot be sold in the domestic market. However, there is no clear-cut legislation in this regard.

He said pepper imports for re-exports in January was 1,850 tonnes and 1,065 tonnes had gone for extraction. Of this, a maximum 500 tonnes might have been exported as spent pepper and the balance to be sold in the domestic market in the form of extracted waste at ₹30-40 a kg. The farming community believes that this de-oiled pepper is entering the domestic market, he said.

Besides, the crossborder smuggling in pepper is also affecting domestic demand, he said.

Meanwhile, the market in Kochi was up by ₹1 per kg due to lower arrivals as the offtake was hardly 8 tonnes. The ungarbled varieties realised an average price of ₹312, while MG1 garbled garnered ₹332. New pepper was quoted at ₹302 per kg.

There was a shrinkage in arrivals to the terminal market because of the movement from primary markets to Tamil Nadu-based dealers. Moreover, farmers are also not releasing their crop fully, even after the starting of new harvest. They have already liquidated some portion of their early harvest and made income.

Published on February 11, 2020

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