Monsoon fear force Kerala farmers to disburse their pepper stock

V.Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on August 06, 2020

The intensifying monsoon has forced pepper growers in Idukki for an early disbursal of stock, fearing a disruption in road traffic due to flooding and landslides. This is evident from the increased pepper arrivals to Kochi market on Thursday at 32 tonnes.

Pepper prices were up by ₹1 per kg and it realised an average price of ₹311 for ungarbled varieties, thanks to a rising demand for Kerala and Karnataka varieties. But with a good demand-supply situation, the up-trend in prices is limited.

The lockdown in West Kochi area forced many processors to move out to nearby areas to carry out their business, traders said.

According to Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices, the buying was low in many upper Indian markets including Mumbai due to flood situation. Besides, the non-availability of Vietnam pepper via Nepal has perked up a higher demand for Kerala and Karnataka pepper in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh. Tamil Nadu based dealers are active from Gudallur and Hosur for Karnataka pepper.

The Kochi market has also started witnessing the arrival of Vietnam pepper on every alternate day which was imported through Tuticorin port, he said.

The Karnataka pepper is trading higher than Kerala because of the active phase of monsoon. The moisture content in this farm grade pepper has gone up by 2 per cent to 14 per cent from 12 per cent, incurring an additional cost for processors, he said.

Taking cue from the reduction of APMC tax in Karnataka from 1 per cent to 0.35 per cent which is applicable to merchandised trade, APMC market dealers in Mumbai are moving out to further industrial areas to avoid paying such levies, he said.

Published on August 06, 2020

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