Cardamom exports reveal slump in production

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.

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