Indian cardamom crop affected by monsoon delays

The quality of India’s cardamom is being adversely impacted due to delays in monsoon rains, but quality is expected to improve by the middle of next month, according to local sources.

Hemen Ruparel of Emperor Akbar Green Cardamom noted that India’s monsoon rains had been delayed by about a month and so far, the rainfall was below normal. “Due to this, the flowers and the pods are getting dried and yellowish on the plant itself, affecting the quality of the crop,” he explained.

The crop itself is delayed by about one month. Although, small quantities had started trickling from July 15 onwards, the new crop in reasonable quality and quantity is only expected from mid-August. So far, the crop in volume terms seems lower than that of last year. “However, we may be able to give a more reasonable estimate only after the second round of picking,” Ruparel added.

He observed that the Guatemalan crop also seems to have been exhausted and only small quantities are in stock with the major exporters. “That remaining stock is also not from the good grades,” Ruparel stated.

The domestic festival demand in India is likely to start from the end of August onwards and continue until December.

“We strongly expect to see a jump in the prices by about USD2.00-3.00 a kilo when good quality crop start arriving in the markets,” Ruparel said.

Currently, good quality and good colour grades are still available in the markets from the old crop. Buying interest is also being seen from the Middle Eastern markets at these price levels.

Emperor Akbar Green Cardamom advised that its customers should cover their requirements until September, particularly in the bold grades.

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