Pepper trade deal in Sri Lanka worries Indian farmers

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on June 03, 2020 Published on June 03, 2020

The domestic pepper farming community has raised apprehensions over the likely inflow of Sri Lankan pepper here in the wake of reports on the sale of of 500 tonnes to importers in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

The deal — under SAFTA at 8 per cent import duty on ₹500/kg — will work out at ₹40 per kg so that the import cost will be around at ₹265. This will enable importers to sell the commodity in the domestic market at ₹300/kg, traders said.

Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices said that this could be a profitable business venture for importers, since two invoices are prepared by Sri Lankan exporters — one at $7,000/tonne on ₹500 MIP and the other at $3,000 at the actual price. It is understood that the parties have just contracted a deal in this regard and the consignments are likely to reach Indian ports by mid-June, he said.

The farming community has urged the government to stop such illegal pepper imports with double invoice, as it is a clear violation of FEMA rules.

Meanwhile, at the Kochi market, spot prices

were up by ₹2 per kg with ungarbled varieties quoting at ₹314. The off-take was only 9 tonnes.

Published on June 03, 2020
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