Black pepper market in Kochi remained steady on Thursday after moving up continuously for the last several days on account of resistance from both buyers and sellers.

Buyers, who are on a wait and watch, are looking at a further decline in prices, while sellers are for higher rates. Importers and sellers from Karnataka is looking at the future price movement in the market, said Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices.

The quantity traded today was 5 tonnes 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. New pepper was settled at Rs 318.

According to Shamji, primary market dealers are looking at a price tag of Rs 350 for which there are no buyers presently. Touching of prices at that level would depend mainly on demand. Even as the new harvest is round the corner, the market is still receiving 700 to 800 tonnes of Sri Lankan imported pepper every month at an MIP of Rs 500 per kg, which is a dangerous trend. There are sellers for this imported variety at Rs 275-300 per kg, he said.

According to market participants, the December futures remain unchanged at Rs 317.90 on Thursday. The present domestic conditions are favourable for new crop.