Demand for immunity-boosting spices props up overall prices

It was a roller coaster experience for agri commodities, in particular spices, in 2020. Price

It was a roller coaster experience for agri commodities, in particular spices, in 2020. Price ranges of spices which had been capturing by the roof for final 3 months, have witnessed a correction in the final fortnight and are now pretty much at the exact same degree as in final yr.

However, the immunity-boosting attributes of specific spices this kind of as pepper, cardamom and tea all through the Covid-19 pandemic have turned out to be a blessing for better cost realisation, that too in the afterwards aspect of the yr, for farmers.

Prashant Bhansali, President of UPASI (United Planters’ Affiliation of Southern India), stated that the plantation sector is experiencing quite a few structural challenges this kind of as higher price of generation thanks to raise in wages, enter fees, acute scarcity of employees, climate change and so forth, and that there is a have to have for a focussed exploration that provides technological advancements in generation, productivity, agronomical practices and put up-harvest technological innovation.

Cardamom – gains flavour

The ordinary cost of cardamom that farmers received in the August-October period of time was ₹1,573.ninety six/kg (down from about ₹3,800-4,000/kg in the starting of the yr).

This rallied to ₹1,820.76/ for each kg by mid-December. Traders are bullish on the recent increasing pattern as the sector has achieved the fag end of the harvest season. Moreover, crop failure in Guatemala — the most significant producer of cardamom — thanks to tropical storms and floods has caused Indian price ranges to surge. This may perhaps lead to provide strain in the marketplace, which would aid domestic price ranges.

Similarly, there has been a excellent upcountry demand soon after opening up of the markets in the final couple of months. Even with the recent rally, price ranges have plunged over the final yr – when they ruled at ₹3,one hundred-three,four hundred/kg.

Pepper – not so hot

The most up-to-date cost as on December fourteen at Kochi marketplace was ₹354/kg for garbled and ₹334/kg for ungarbled pepper, which is marginally larger than the cost realised a couple of months in the past. Starting of the yr, price ranges had been close to ₹344-349/kg. Nishant R Gujrer, Chairman, UPASI Spices Committee, stated that pepper price ranges in the shorter-term would-be array bound at the recent amounts as there is an raise in demand for pepper, offered its immunity boosting attributes.

In the medium- to long-term, there could be gains in pepper price ranges as new planting and replanting activity had been subdued in the final number of yrs thanks to minimal price ranges. This need to exert provide strain and, in turn, aid cost balance.

World wide pepper generation in 2019-twenty was five,ninety one,946 tonnes, though domestic generation was at sixty one,000 tonnes. The world wide generation would be lower in the recent yr thanks to unfavourable weather conditions, though domestic generation is expected to be close to final year’s amounts.