Weather brightens jeera, coriander crop prospects

Our Bureau Ahmedabad | Updated on January 09, 2020 Published on January 09, 2020

Jeera prices have already started consolidating in anticipation of a good crop

Bumper harvest likely of both spices on higher acreage

Favourable climatic conditions and improved water availability following good monsoon rains have brightened crop prospects for two key spices — cumin seed (jeera) and coriander (dhaniya).

Jeera growers in Rajasthan and Gujarat are expecting about 25-30 per cent higher yield over last year . Though official numbers are still not out, indications from traders and farmers point to a crop size of about 5 lakh tonnes as against about 4.1 lakh tonnes in the previous year.

“The weather is very supportive for jeera crop. The yield is going to be much better this year. We expect about 30 per cent higher production in Gujarat this season. The next ten days appear clear without any weather disturbance. If it stays so for about a month more, there will be a very good crop,” said Vijay Joshi, President of Unjha Commodity Association. Unjha is the largest trading hub for jeera.

However, farmers pointed out a marginal impact on the crop due to last month’s locust attack in southern Rajasthan and north Gujarat, primarily the jeera and coriander growing regions. “But the damage will be compensated with higher yield in other places,” Joshi said.

Acreage jumps

Per the latest data from the Gujarat government on rabi sowing, there is a 36 per cent jump in area under jeera cultivation over last year, while coriander acreage has gone up by a staggering 177 per cent. Jeera acreage as on January 6, 2020 was reported at 4.71 lakh hectares (3.45 lakh ha). For coriander, it is multiple times higher at 82,105 hectares (29,630 hectares).

Prices have already started consolidating in anticipation of a good crop. On Thursday, Jeera January futures on the NCDEX fell by ₹155 and was quoted at ₹15,930 a quintal. In the spot market, jeera at Unjha was quoted at ₹16,195 a quintal.

“Currently, the market is awaiting the crop numbers in anticipation of higher production. Looking at the current market trend, jeera prices are likely to consolidate at ₹15,000-15,500 per quintal. But if there is an adverse decision on the continuation of the export incentive scheme under the MEIS, then there could be additional downward pressure on the prices and may consolidate between ₹14,500-15,000,” said Jagdeep Garewal, Director at Sethji Broking House Pvt Ltd in Ahmedabad.

Export prospects

Commenting on the impact on the exports following the West Asia tensions, Joshi said it would not impact India’s jeera export prospects. “The exports will continue to happen to the US, which buys about 5,000-6,000 tonnes from us. Iran has its own cultivation of the cumin seed so it is not a market for us. So we don’t see any impact on exports,” Joshi said.

Published on January 09, 2020
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