Sabarimala pilgrim season has pushed up retail prices of black pepper in Pathanamthitta, Kumily and Vandiperiyar regions registering a good demand from devotees from Andhra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

According to traders, the retail prices has touched a price tag of Rs 400, Rs 450 and Rs 500 per one kg packs. It is pointed out that the sale of retail pepper was to the tune of 13-15 tonnes.

Meanwhile, the black pepper prices in Kochi trade remained stable on Friday after moving up continuously for the last several days.

The quantity traded today was 7 tonnes. The prices of all varieties remain unchanged and the average price realised for ungarbled was Rs 333 per kg, as quoted in the previous day. MG1 garbled variety quoted at Rs 353 per kg, while new pepper settled at Rs 318.

According to market participants, the December futures remain unchanged at Rs 317.90 on Friday. The present domestic conditions are favourable for new crop. The sellers in the primary markets are holding their stock on the anticipation of further surge in prices. There are sellers at Rs 333, but buyers are quoting only Rs 330, the high range pepper. For other pepper, buyers are quoting only Rs 325 and sellers at Rs 330.