Rains dent pepper farmers' hope for harvest in January

V. Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on December 16, 2019

Saturday's rains in many of the pepper growing regions, especially in South Kerala and Tamil Nadu, have sent fears among farmers over a more delays in harvesting.

Farmers are expecting the crop in January, but the rains seem to have dented their hopes, said Kishore Shamji of Kishore Spices.

Interestingly, the imports from Sri Lanka have also come down in November at 250 tonnes from the previous three months average of 800 tonnes per month. He said that this could be because of the increase in prices of pepper in Sri Lanka, which has moved up to $4,000 per tonne.

At this rate, buying pepper at an MIP of Rs 500 per kg, plus 8 per cent import duty under SAFTA, is not a viable option for importers, despite the claim made by Sri Lankan exporters on getting good enquiries from India even at $4,000. The decline in demand is evident from the lower imports in November, he said.

Demand up

Meanwhile the pepper market in Kochi is on an upward movement on Monday, with prices touching at Rs 337, up by Re 1 for un-garbled varieties. The quantity arrived was 32 tonnes.

There was good buying from Tamil Nadu-based processors, who covered at Rs 340 per kg Wayanad pepper.

The domestic demand has also gone up due to the onset of winter, especially in upcountry markets.

The demand for black pepper from Sabarimala pilgrims is also on the rise in Kottayam, Idukki and Pathanamthitta districts.

IPSTA Cochin pepper rate: MG1 – Rs 357 (garbled) ; Ungarbled : Rs 337. New pepper Rs 322.

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

Published on December 16, 2019

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