GUATEMALA’S first half cardamom exports were only moderately behind those of a year ago, despite a substantial decline in sales to top market Saudi Arabia.
Between January and June this year Guatemala shipped a total of 12,981 tonnes of cardamoms to global destinations, 12% down from the 11,575 tonnes achieved in the same period of 2008.
Sales to Saudi Arabia were 34% down over the 2009 period at 3,483 tonnes, squeezing Saudi Arabia’s share to 26.8% from 45.6% a year earlier.
However, other Middle East markets are making up for this downturn. The United Arab Emirates, for example, took 18% more in the first six months of this year, Syrian purchases jumped 332%, while those of Jordan were up nearly 150%.
Asia remains the other major destination with interest from Pakistan escalating by nearly 344%, that of Bangladesh by 163% and India’s by 32.3%.