Festival season helps drive cardamom advances

INDIAN cardamom prices gained 10% in the week to September 13, on good overseas and domestic demand.

The price of the September delivery contract on the Multi Commodity Exchange gained 9.4% and closed at Rs899 ($18.28) per kg.

On the spot market, the weighted average price has risen to Rs720 a kg from Rs595 a kg a year ago.

At a recent auction held at Vandanmettu in Kerala, the average price was offered at Rs735 per kg compared with Rs708 per kg offered at the same auctions the previous week.

India is seeing strong buying by stockists ahead of the festivals and marriage season, according to The Economic Times. In addition, there is good demand from further afield in India, particularly from the northern states. Moreover, export demand is running well, especially from Saudi Arabia, which has been taking cover for Ramadan.

Spices Board data shows that between April and July 2009, India exported 250 tonnes of cardamom compared with 160 tonnes over the same period last year.

India’s cardamom crop was affected during its peak flowering stage over May to July this year, due to a lack of rain and widening gap between day and night time temperatures. However harvesting has gathered momentum in the Idukki and Wayanad districts of Kerala.

Unfortunately, heavy rains in the 10 days to September 13 were said to have affected the process of pollination severely and lowered the arrivals.

The Indian Meteorological Department indicated that Idukki and Wayanad districts received higher-than-normal rainfall in the week ended September 9.

Due to a lack of rainfall earlier this year and subsequent heavy rains Indian cardamom production is expected to fall by 30% to 35% this year, which means losses of between 10,000 and 11,000 tonnes.

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