Labour shortage, robust sales at farms hit Kochi pepper trade

V. Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on January 03, 2020

The activity was less in Kochi pepper market on Friday due to the unavailability of labourers from the head-load workers pool. As trade unions are gearing up for a nation wide strike on January 8, these workers are being engaged by leaders to carry out daily political campaigns to make the strike a success.

Since there was lesser activity in the market, the quantity arrived was very minimal at five tonnes compared to 9 tonnes in the previous day. The labour shortage has forced growers not to bring sufficient quantity to the terminal market for trade.

Besides, the aggressive farm gate sales which is in the range of 5 to 7 tonnes per day is also posing a threat to the terminal market trade. Such sales which is fetching a retail price to the tune of Rs 450 per kg, are expected to continue till January 15, when hill shrine at Sabarimala closed after the current pilgrim season, said Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices.

The market today was steady, with prices remaining unchanged at Rs 330 per kg for ungarbled. Garbled variety MG1 settled at Rs 350. New pepper was quoted at Rs 315. The cold wave conditions in North India continue to hit pepper demand in the upcountry markets. Traders are looking at the new harvest which is expected to hit the market after January 15 depending on the weather conditions, he said.

Meanwhile, the government decision to retain the 2 per cent MEIS till March 31 by withdrawing the additional two per cent is likely to slowdown the export market further, he added.

Trade analysts Acumen Capital Markets said that pepper January futures remain flat at Rs 350.5 when last traded on Friday.

Published on January 03, 2020

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