Exports revive as cardamom prices fall 16%

Kochi: A nearly 16 per cent fall in cardamom prices in the past one month has revived exports of the spice from India.

Cardamom prices are hovering near Rs 2,400 per kg compared with Rs 3,000 per kg a month ago. The average price stood at a new high of Rs 4,700 per kg and the price of the premium variety shot up to a record Rs 7,000 per kg in August as the harvest was delayed and old stock depleted. The export orders have increased with the decline in prices.

“Exports had plunged when the prices touched $45 per kg. Now it has come down to about $36 per kg. We have exported around 100 tonnes,” said SPGR Nityanandan, an exporter.

Saudi Arabia is the largest buyer of Indian cardamom but it has not imported since last year as the country had banned all commodities carrying pesticide residue. “The current exports are going mostly to Kuwait and UAE. We expect prices to fall further by December during winter as the local consumption will go down,’’ down,’’ Nityanandan said.

Growers reckon the production is likely to be below 10,000 tonnes. “We expected a better crop but extended drought seems to have impacted the output,” said KK Saseendra Babu, MD of Vandanmedu Green Gold Cardamom Producer Co.

Current daily arrivals at the auction average 40- 50 tonnes compared with 150 tonnes a year ago. Current arrivals are likely to be over by the end of 2019. “We may get another crop by March if weather is conducive,” Babu said. Good rains in September and October are expected to boost the prospects of another crop.