Cardamom shortage takes toll on oil supplies

ASHORTAGE of cardamom in the two main producers, Guatemala and India, appears to be behind recent price rises for cardamom oil.

Cardamom oil was recently quoted at a spot price $140 a kg, compared with $120 a kg in the previous week.

Sources who spoke to  said that Guatemala’s cardamom crop appeared to be down from last year. Combined with lower production in India, this has resulted in a shortage of cardamom globally.

Cesar Vettorazzi, director of Extract, a Guatemalan cardamom oil supplier said that prices were high because of low production in these two countries.

Reports in the Indian press have claimed that the crop there was reduced by hot weather in April and May followed by rains and storms in the June to August monsoon period.

India, whose cardamom crop starts around July or August, has had a reduced crop this year and this has resulted in the country importing more cardamom from Guatemala, reducing availability of cardamoms for producing oil, he said.

Mr Vettorazzi said that this year’s Guatemalan cardamom crop, which starts harvesting in September and October, was likely to be down from last year by around 10%.

One UK cardamom oil importer agreed that prices were firm just now but said

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