Protests against Citizenship Amendment Act slows pepper demand in North India

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on December 20, 2019

(file photo)

Pepper price fell by Rs 2 per kg

The nationwide agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has slowed the demand for black pepper marginally, as the continuing strike affected the functioning of several consuming wholesale markets in North India.

Most of the upcountry markets, especially in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar etc., were closed following the agitations, and the industrial buying has also come down, even during this peak demand season.

India’s pepper consumption is estimated at 60-65,000 tonnes per year, and 5,000 tonnes is the monthly average. However, the market goes down to 3,000-4,000 tonnes during the sleek period, while the demand perk up during winter at 6,000-7,000 tonnnes, said Kishore Shamji of Kishor Spices.

The current situation in the upcountry markets forced importers to liquidate their stock at the terminal market of Kochi on Friday, where they traded at Rs 330 per kg. This has resulted in a price drop of Rs 2 per kg. The quantity offered was 22 tonnes, and the average price realised was Rs 335 for ungarbled varieties. MG-1 garbled varieties received Rs 355.

According to traders, Wayanad pepper quoted at Rs 335 and Idukki pepper at Rs 340. Coorg pepper was also available at Rs 330 per kg. This was the reason for the prices closing at Rs 2 lower.

Buying green pepper

Moreover, cloudy weather had influenced farmers to liquidate their standing crop as immature green pepper itself rather than waiting for its maturity and drying. Since the farmers are getting Rs 90-105 per kg for green pepper plucked with stems, they are saving the charges of removing the stems also, said Shamji.

It is also reported that oil extractors are evincing interest in buying green pepper from the southern districts of Kerala so as to covert into immature light pepper which have more percentage of oil content. This emerging situation has prompted farmers to sell their crop to en cash money, as it enabled him to get more returns, he said.

Published on December 20, 2019

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