GUATEMALAN cardamom exports fell sharply in the first three months of this year as tight stocks reduced the volumes available to sell overseas.
The country shipped a total of 5,547 tonnes of cardamom to global destinations between January and March this year, which was 33.8% down from the 8,383 tonnes exported in the same period of 2009.
Sales to leading destination Saudi Arabia plummeted by 21.8% to 1,869 tonnes while those to second top market the United Arab Emirates slumped by 36.4% to 955 tonnes.
Exports to Syria were 64% lower at 240 tonnes and those to Pakistan fell by 71.4% to 187 tonnes.
Guatemalan cardamom supplies were said to be running very tight in the run up to the start of harvesting of the 2009/10 crop last October.
Moreover, current availability is seen as very limited with the crop itself being pegged in the region of 14,000 to 16,000 tonnes against 18,000 tonnes in 2008/09, 20,000 tonnes in 2007/08 and 24,000 tonnes in 2006/07.