The industrial buying of pepper has started picking up, surpassing 75 per cent than dealer procurement on the revival of economic activities. Earlier, such demand was 60 per cent out of the total pepper consumption of 60,000 tonnes.

Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices said that industrial consumers are looking for ready- to-use finished pepper from the market and they do not have to carry out any further cleaning of the commodity. The declining export demand has also facilitated exporters to utilise their processing facilities for the supply in the market. The buying of pepper for industrial use within the state has also gone up, he said.

Meanwhile, spot prices in Kochi were up by ₹1 per kg at ₹325 for ungarbled varieties on an off-take of 35 tonnes. Traders attribute the increase in prices to the domestic demand, as more buyers appeared to cover up their requirements. Pepper from Wayanad and Karnataka are ruling higher in the primary market itself with a difference of around ₹10 per kg than the terminal market. This is because of the availability of bolder Karnataka berries which is bagged mainly by Tamil Nadu dealers. The Karnataka based inter-state dealers are also active in the market.

The opening up of restaurants and the start of train services in the country is expected to perk up domestic demand further in the coming days, especially with the festival season ahead, traders said.